Your Instagram feed is about to be invaded by more ads


Instagram is opening up its advertising to all businesses regardless of size to expand its money-making efforts, meaning more ads in user feeds.

The company also said that it was going to expand its advertising targeting features based on user interests, age, gender and demographic, using the photos they take as well as integration with Facebook’s behavioural ad profiling.

Companies will be able to buy ads on Instagram directly or via Facebook.

The new ads go beyond simple photos or videos to “carousel ads”, which will show a series of images to “tell a deeper story”, according to the company.

Users will also be able to interact with ads, buying products, downloading apps or signing up for services directly from Instagram.

“These updates completely change the character and nature of Instagram advertising,” said Debra Aho Williamson, principal analyst at eMarketer. “New ways to target and an API are both things that advertisers have been asking for for a long time.”

Instagram started offering ads in the US in 2013 and expanded into the UK with Waitrose, Rimmel and Channel 4 among others in September 2014. Adverts were initially based on branded accounts with simple photos, but now support videos and more advanced ad formats.

Facebook’s mobile ad revenues, which include Instagram, have been rising rapidly in the past years. They totalled $7.4bn in 2014 up 135.7% over 2013, accounting for 17.4% of the global mobile ad market and putting Facebook second only to Google’s 38.2% share, according to data from eMarketer.

Facebook is pitching Instagram as a premium magazine-like advert environment, but whether users take to the ads, or simply gloss over them or worse, has yet to be established.

Instagram boasted that of 475 advertising campaigns run on the service, analytics firm Nielsen measured them as 2.9 times more successful than standard online adverts.

Mobile platforms offer a potentially lucrative advertising space. Most mobile services contained within their own apps can avoid ad blockers and other anti-advertising technology commonly used on a desktop computer meaning users have no choice but to view them or leave the service.

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