Instagram Collects Data On Posts Brands Can Turn Into Advertisements

It wasn't enough to learn that by November Facebook plans to shutter its advertising exchange, which enabled third-party ad-technology companies to purchase ads on the social network. Now Instagram, Facebook's subsidiary, will release business tools that offer individuals data on the posts that get the most engagement and allow them to turn those posts into advertisements.

Instagram will report on impressions, not views. Reporting will include numbers that tell advertisers how many times their photos and videos were served on an individual's screen, but the advertisers won't know if the individual paid attention or scrolled through the feed. For that, Instagram will need to incorporate additional insight tools that track views.

The hope is that by learning about the behavior and demographics of an audience, advertisers can create more relevant and timely content, the company wrote in a blog post. The features will roll out in the U.S. during the coming months.



To participate in the program, advertisers will need to pick a post someone shared on Instagram and add a button encouraging people to take action. The platform will allow advertisers to select a target audience or allow Instagram to suggest the target. The post will be promoted as an ad for any length of time the individual chooses.

Facebook wants to take advantage of Instagram’s 400 million monthly users to support revenue growth. Instagram ads should generate $1.53 billion in revenue this year, or 15% of Facebook’s total ad sales, according to eMarketer. 

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