What’s new in the world of Instagram

What’s new in the world of Instagram

Instagram has rapidly increased its following since being acquired by Facebook in 2012, and in December 2014 it announced it had over 300 million monthly users which continues to rise. Here at Space & Time we’re itching to get our clients advertising on the ever growing photo sharing platform but despite Instagram launching Sponsored Posts in the UK back in September 2014 this form of advertising is still only available to its brand partners. As frustrating as this is, the positive to waiting is that Instagram are perfecting their advertising, making sure it fits in with the user experience without being intrusive. This ultimately will help advertisers get the best from their adverts so it’s safe to say it will be worth the wait!

Although we can’t advertise we still like to keep tabs on the up and coming social platform and part of their perfecting process has led to two new features being launched this month. These are both worth knowing about and could mean advertising for all is just around the corner….

  1. Carousel image ads

Carousel Image - Instagram - Image 1

A picture says a thousand words, well what about 3 or 4 pictures? Instagram, following the launch of multiple image ads on Facebook, announced at the beginning of March they would be launching carousel image adverts. Again this feature is just for their advertising partners at the moment but it will allow advertisers to include up to 4 images in one advert. Giving the advertiser a chance to show off multiple products or tell a story through a number of photos in one post. When you encounter one of the new adverts, swiping left will reveal additional images, and a link to the advertiser’s website will come in the form of a “learn more” button, again very similar to Facebook.

This is an extremely important development for advertising on Instagram, previously the only way of directing users to your website was for them to go to your profile and click the link within your profile. This now takes away 2 of those stages letting the user click there and then, this will no doubt increase click through rates for those currently advertising.

  1. Layout – Instagram’s own photo collage app

 Layout - Instagram - Image 2

Although not specifically advertising related, Instagram this week have launched their own photo collage app called Layout. For anyone who uses Instagram already you’ll know despite the many many filter options and editing tools, you still need to download a second app should you wish to ‘collage’ your photos. What makes Layout different from all the other collage apps? Well like Instagram, it is extremely user friendly with additional features you don’t see in other apps such as a ‘Faces’ button, which will filter your photos to only show the photos with people in them, a ‘photo booth’ feature that will take several photos in a few seconds automatically making them into a collage, as well as being able to flip and mirror photos. For those of you posting organically, this will make your photo’s more interesting and give you a chance to tell stories and show multiple products in one post (until the carousel ads are available for all to use of course).

The most important thing to come from the Layout launch is that Instagram are working to find ways to maintain and increase their users, keeping the core app simple for those who like it that way, and for those advance users who want more, Layout is there to keep them happy.

Both new launches on Instagram are good news for us when advertising is fully launched, so keep your eyes peeled for when it does as we’ll be the first to be blogging about it.

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