Instagram ads are about to get longer, more prominent

Three years after Facebook’s acquisition, Instagram gets serious about appealing to advertisers.


Instagram users should expect to see new kinds of advertisements soon, as the social network greatly expands its money-making efforts.

While Instagram isn’t necessarily pushing more ads on its users, advertisers are getting a few new ways to draw in eyeballs. The maximum length of video ads, for instance, is doubling to 30 seconds, encouraging users to gaze for a bit longer as they scroll through an ad in their feed. Photo and video ads may also appear in landscape mode for a more cinematic look.

Instagram is also adding a new type of ad called “Marquee,” which sounds like some sort of attention-grabbing header. Instagram describes it as a “premium product that helps drive mass awareness and expanded reach in a short time-frame,” especially for events such as movie premieres.

As for run-of-the-mill sponsored posts, Instagram is opening up to smaller brands and has expanded ads to more than 30 countries, and will be expanding further on September 30. These ads can have specialized buttons, such as a “install now” link to the App Store, or a “shop now” link to a product page. As TechCrunch reports, advertisers can use Facebook’s existing self-serve interface to start reaching both Instagram and Facebook users.

The impact on you at home: Essentially, Instagram is giving advertisers new ways to make themselves more noticeable, and to increase the odds that they’ll reach users who actually care. In other words, even if the number of Instagram ads doesn’t increase, the idea is that you’ll be more aware of their presence as Facebook looks to cash in on its $1 billion acquisition.

This story has been corrected to note that Instagram's ad expansion has already begun, and a further expansion is planned for the end of September.

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