The Instagram Ads Are Here and Hipsters Won't Cheer

Author: Casey Cornett
Posted: Jan 7, 2016

Topics: Social Media

First comes the fear.

Earlier this summer Instagram announced they would open up their ad platform for all businesses that yearn to get a perfect visual of that thing you don’t need in front of you – slowing down your scroll speed in seeing your bestie’s brunch from a 5-star yelp establishment.


Hipsters from all over began googling “next cool social platform” so they could continue feeling all the special warm fuzzies only a notification or “heart” from a follower can give (some began having bad cases of FOMO). However, before we begin to swipe left and feel the rise of yet another platform approaching a billion dollar+ valuation, let’s take a step back.

First off, regarding Instagram ads you should know that Facebook is enormous. Wait, Facebook? Who cares, right? You should.

In 2012 Facebook bought Instagram for a cool $1,000,000,000. When this news first broke people cringed. “Facebook is going to ruin my mad filter skills!” some would shout…but nothing really changed. Sure, they immediately cut off the access you gave Twitter to natively display your auto-posted grams, but that was expected. Other updates would come, but they were minor, and certainly nothing to go Periscope about.

But then that Macy's (or any other major brand) ad showed up, and all hell broke loose.

Instagram began slowly rolling out ads for a select number of brands. Suddenly, images became clickable and actually linked out to a website. WHAT?! For years Instagram was the mess/drama-free platform that allowed the kids to break free from the political rants leading back to disreputable websites that were surely to keep Snopes in business. Deeeeeeep breath. Afterall, it was just one ad every so often.

Whew! Glad we dodged that one. This platform almost got over-taken by a Facebook-like timeline where ads were more and more poula….wait. What was in the first paragraph of this blog again? “Instagram announced they would open up their ad platform for all businesses...” ALL BUSINESSES? Yes. All business, and here's why you should jump on board.

The Instagram ads platform is accesible through the Facebook Power Editor (and I'm guessing soon to ads manager), where any social media strategist should have no problem navigating through. All of this allows your easy-to-digest beautiful content to be highly targeted (through Facebook targeting database) at a low CPC / CPM and ready for results.

Still don't have you hooked? How about this - where one is great, multiple is better.

Instagram allows for "carousel ads" to show multiple images for the cost of one ad. These ads scroll left to right - with each individual image clickable, "likeable" and availabe for comments (the cleverness below from GMC made a panoramic view with their carousel).

Instagram Carousel Ad

Image via Ad Week

Instagram's platform (400,000,000 monthly users) is made for less clutter and full consumption viewing of the content. There are no banner ads and pop-ups that constantly get in the way and annoy the user. It's a clean and refreshing social platform devoid of the drama where big brother Facebook thrives. 

Bottom line: When Instagram shows your ad, it is seen and consumed (by the right audience). It does not get lost in the clutter. This reason alone should be enough to peak your interest, that is, if your brand is up for it.

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