Last week, you would have been forgiven for missing Instagram announcing their latest brand-led update, but it’s a game-changer in social media.
Instagram have announced that they will, for the first time, allow hyperlinks to be used on the platform. We knew this was coming, especially when Facebook purchased Instagram, but they’ll operate a soft-launch to begin with. When introducing ads at first, they’ll be placed only in the multi-photo ad carousels that Instagram are launching.
As you can see in the video, the ad-carousel, which is only available to brands for a fee, will display a number of images, and allow users to click-through for more information or to buy. A fashion brand, for example, could show an outfit, followed by the individual elements, with links to buy each item. This functionality will also offer a wealth of data on buyer habits and effectiveness of content.
According to Instagram’s monetization lead James Quarles: “This is a move that was demanded by advertisers who were looking for features that lead to meaningful results for their businesses.”
This is a sizeable shift in mentality for Instagram. One of it’s major selling points was that it was ad-free. It has always promoted the purity of the platform, sticking to its adage that it’s simply for users to enjoy photos. The trust in the Instagram brand could be affected by this change.
For me, and our clients, it’s a game changer. Allowing us to drive traffic to websites gives us a wealth of opportunity to capitalise on the fastest growing social media platform, and one that boasts higher engagement than any other.
To this point, Instagram has been a platform we’ve been hesitant to use – simply because it hasn’t been set-up to deliver against clients’ objectives.
The additional e-Commerce opportunities are certainly enticing as we look to continually determine the ROI of social media. That is something that has been made a little bit easier with this latest update, and which is sure to be followed by Instagram making hyperlinks available to all users in the future.
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