For the first time ever, Instagram is making its ads clickable! This is something that Instagram has always been reluctant to do – to drive traffic away from their own site to those of advertisers.
In October 2013, the company made some changes, allowing ads, and later due to increased demand, video ads were also introduced. Prior to Instagram’s latest change, advertising was used for the purpose of brand recognition and influence. Companies used the quirky photo-sharing app to increase their following and better their reputation.
Apart from using the app to lift their brand, advertisers use of Instagram does not drive consumers to their own site.
Instagram had good reason for its reluctance towards clickable links for advertisers. The purpose of the app is for users to share and browse photos, not to allow brands to direct traffic away from the app towards the web.
Pressure from advertisers has forced Instagram to allow more expansive ways to reach consumers.
Staying true to their photo-sharing nature, in the next few weeks we will see the app’s answer to this issue in the form of “Carousel Ads”. These advertisements will only take up one space on the users feed, but will allow the user to swipe from side to side to see more details of the product or service. While viewing these photos, there will be an option to “Learn More”, which will lead the user to the associated URL.
The initial purpose of these advertisements will focus on brand knowledge, allowing the user to learn more if they wish. Eventually though, brands will be looking for ways to monetize on this and turn the social network into a means for buying and selling.