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Instagram Introduce Carousel Ads

Sideways Thinking


You ever get that weird, ambivalent feeling that internet culture is just stealing words you know and recognise, hiding them away somewhere and then pushing them back on stage in a new outfit? Just me? Fine, keep lying to yourselves. ‘Carousel’ is the latest word to undergo a rebranding as Instagram have unveiled a new advertising scheme under the name.

Instagram images have never linked to URLs, they don’t want anybody leaving, they just want you to keep browsing pictures, preferably for ever and ever. Now, apparently owing to advertiser pressure to have better ways to engage people, they have added a function which allows users to swipe across up to four images in a narrative cycle. The final image comes with a ‘learn more’ button that takes you to the corresponding web page view a new internal browser.  You can’t just use the browser like you would a normal one though, it will only take you to the page of the corresponding advertiser and everything that leads to.

“Instagram’s new advertising format is great news for brands with visually appealing products and campaigns, with the opportunity to boost conversion rates using the “carousel adverts” and the “learn more” button. However, it’s extremely important that as brands leverage ad spend opportunities on the platform, Instagram must still maintain its thirst for authenticity. In its fledgling years, founder, Kevin Systrom claimed to check each advert manually to maintain an unrelenting focus on beautiful images and an uncluttered experience.” – Joanna Parnell, Director of Planning at Unique Digital

It’s fairly safe to assume that most advertisers are going to be pretty dull in their approach to this new tool, but it does have some intriguing possibilities. You could show a new building in 4 gradual states of completion, or exterior and interior, or TV and film studios could use it to tease new casting announcements. I’m sure there are more, even more fascinating applications for it but I’m not an advertiser, I like Bill Hicks far too much for that.

What’s nice about this idea is that it doesn’t throw the information in your face or force you to interface with it; it’s completely up to you whether or not to swipe across to learn more. It’s almost like Tinder for advertising, but somehow actually less depressing. Instagram remains one of the most uncluttered, easy-to-understand photo apps on the market and this new addition doesn’t necessarily interfere with that, but they’d be advised not to go stapling on any more extra bits any time soon.

Callum Davies

Callum is a film school graduate who is now making a name for himself as a journalist and content writer. His vices include flat whites and 90s hip-hop. Follow him @CallumAtSMF

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Instagram Introduce Carousel Ads Reviewed by Unknown on Monday, March 09, 2015 Rating: 5
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