Sometimes it’s easy forget that Facebook owns Instagram, given how differently the platforms operate, and the relative lack of ads on Instagram. But the parent company is about to hone in on Instagram’s commercial potential with more advertising tools and, well, more ads overall.
For one, Instagram is rolling out “direct response” ads, which allow you to sign up for, buy or install something. Instagram says it will begin testing these “in the coming days,” but the action buttons first appeared with the carousel ads the network introduced in March.
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Advertisers will also have access to more information about you from your Facebook account. Currently, Instagram advertisers can only tap into your age, location and gender.
Later this year, they’ll be able to reach you based on your demographics and interests. Businesses will also be able to pull in their own data about customers from outside the platform – though Instagram is vague about how they’ll be do that.
It’s also creating a new Instagram Ads API to make these tools easy to implement, as well as making them accessible through Facebook’s advertiser interface.
Instagram launched ads about a year and a half ago, and they’re now available in eight countries. The company says it will begin opening up the Ads API to select partners at first, before expanding globally “throughout the year.” So expect to see a lot more ads around your photos from now on.
➤ The Next Steps for Ads on Instagram: New Formats, Increased Relevance, Broader Availability [Instagram Business]