What You Need to Know About Instagram Ads

September 9, 2015

As more and more social media companies rush to generate revenue and sponsored content dominates feeds that were once entirely organic, Instagram is taking a more deliberate approach. Let’s take a look at what we know and what we need to know about Instagram ads.

Determined to maintain the unique experience that users love, Instagram is cautiously testing the waters. The first photo ad went live nearly two years ago, the first video ads went live just last fall, and CEO Kevin Systrom currently reviews every ad himself.

While advertising is limited to select brands like Disney, Activision, Airbnb, Burberry, Ben and Jerry’s, and Banana Republic, they are now rolling it out to a broader group.


Here’s a peek at what’s to come. There are currently four (4) ad formats:

  • Photo Ads
  • Video Ads
  • Carousel Ads
  • Direct-Response Ads

And several key performance indicators:

  • Social Actions (Likes, Comments, Follows, Shares, Favorites)
  • Impressions & Reach
  • Conversions

Once they’re widely available, Instagram ads will provide brands big and small a great platform to reach a broader audience, build brand awareness, engagement, and loyalty, and drive conversions. Get the latest updates on the Instagram for Business blog.

What do you think of ads on Instagram?

Photo via Flickr user Jason Howie

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is a strategist, speaker, educator, and author of Brand Now: How to Stand Out in a Crowded, Distracted World and Get Scrappy: Smarter Digital Marketing for Businesses Big and Small. He is the Chief Brand Strategist at Brand Driven Digital, an educator at the University of Iowa, and host of the On Brand podcast. More about Nick.