Instagram boosts ad offering with carousel ads

Sarah Homewood
By Sarah Homewood | 9 March 2015
Instagram Carousel Ads

Instagram is expanding out its traditional up and down scroll for advertising, with the Facebook-owned photography platform launching carousel ads in the US.

Carousel ads will allow brands to have more than one photograph in their ad, with users now being able to swipe left and right over an ad to see more than one image.

Previously brands, like users, have only been able to have one photograph per ad, with all users of Instagram only being able to scroll up and down.

The format was announced on Instagram's blog, with the post saying that: “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.

“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’. 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,” Instagram said.

The brand addressed the concern that the platform will now be flooded with advertising: “As with all photo and video ads, people who don’t want to know more can simply scroll past carousel ads in their feed.

“We are introducing this new format on a limited basis. In the coming weeks, you may see carousel ads and might notice variations of the format as we learn what people are most interested in and what performs best.”

Instagram ads were launched in Australia late last year, with premium brands Ben & Jerry’s, McDonald’s and Vegemite being the first Australian advertisers to launch paid ads on the platform.

Carousel ads currently aren’t available in Australia, however it's a matter of when, not if, the ads will appear on our shores.

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