Instagram launches ‘carousel ads’ to push business advertising


Instagram is aiming to boost its business angle with carousel ads, a way for businesses to include a link with their sponsored photos and videos.

The image-focused social media platform kicked off their advertising capabilities back in October 2013, but the inability to include links with posts meant it was almost impossible for businesses to track results. Up until now Instagram’s focus has been on brand promotion and awareness, as opposed to driving traffic to a particular page.

“Carousel ads give brands more flexibility in telling their stories by allowing people who view their ads to swipe left to see additional images and link to a website of the brand’s choice,” Instagram wrote in their official blog entry.

“One way to look at it is carousel ads bring the potential of multi-page print campaigns to mobile phones – with the added benefit of taking people to a website to learn more. For instance, a fashion company could use the carousel to deconstruct the individual products in a ‘look.’ ”

While Instagram users will not have a way to turn off advertisements, the social media service says that users “can simply scroll past carousel ads in their feed.”

This is an important move for the rapidly growing platform, which passed the 300 million users last December. Social Media News estimates that Instagram has 4,000,000 monthly active Australian users, making it the fifth most used social media service.

The new advertising format is being introduced on a limited basis for the time being. While Australian businesses are not able to jump on the advertising service quite yet, the roll-out is expected to go worldwide in the near future.