‘Carousel ads,’ as Instagram is calling them, offers “a new way for brands to share more images with people interested in their posts,” the Facebook-owned outfit said in a message on Wednesday. The company is selling the idea on the basis that it brings “the potential of multi-page print campaigns to mobile phones.”
When a user spots a carousel ad in their feed, they’ll be able to swipe left to view the additional content. In an important development for brands, a ‘learn more’ link to a website can also be added to a carousel ad, enabling them to present even more information about their product to any user that goes ahead and taps on it.
Explaining about the new ad feature, Instagram writes: “For instance, a fashion company could use the carousel to deconstruct the individual products in a ‘look.’ A car company might share an array of different features of a vehicle and provide a link to learn more about the new model. Or, an advertiser could showcase how multiple ingredients come together to make a delicious meal.”
Facebook brought ads to Instagram about 18 months after acquiring the media-sharing startup for $1 billion in the spring of 2012. Aware that the change could upset users who preferred Instagram as an ad-free service, the company introduced sponsored content on a gradual basis – careful to avoid flooding feeds – a strategy that till now has helped prevent any noticeable backlash from the service’s growing base of some 300 million users.
Instagram says it’ll be rolling out the new style of ad on a limited basis over the coming weeks, adding that users “might notice variations of the format as we learn what people are most interested in and what performs best.”
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