Instagram has revealed in a blog post it is making a series of changes to its ad platform that will open up a new set of options for advertisers of any size across the world.
Ads on the site were previously only available in eight countries, but will now expand to more than thirty including Spain, Italy, Mexico, India and South Korea, and are set to appear globally by September 30th. Moreover, Instagram will start allowing advertising campaigns on its platform from businesses of all sizes, not just big name brands.
Another new feature for advertisers is the ability to use Instagram’s recently introduced landscape and portrait modes rather than just squares, as was the case before. Video ads will also be able to run for up to 30 seconds, meaning we’re likely to see businesses importing their television commercials directly onto the platform. Instagram pointed out that non-advertisers will still be limited to 15 second video uploads.
The company also revealed a new premium product called Marquee that “helps advertisers drive mass awareness and expanded reach in a short time-frame.” Instagram says that Marquee is perfect for events like movie premiers and new product launches. It’s thought that the product could be a takeover unit that may occupy the whole screen as users move through their news feed.
Instagram ad revenue is projected to reach $1.5 billion in 2016, according to eMarketer, a research firm, and nearly double by 2017 to $2.8 billion. Whether this will come at the cost of user satisfaction remains to be seen; Instagram has never had a huge number of ads on the platform, and the site previously only allowed advertising from certain brands. Increasing the amount, length and possibly the invasiveness of its ads could result in a user backlash for the company. Attempting to alleviate these fears, Instagram said: “We will continue to improve the feedback mechanisms within Instagram to give people greater control and improve the relevance of the ads they see.”