Providing a faster route to instant gratification, “Shop Now” buttons are appearing on promotional Instagram posts as the company takes steps towards making ads available to all businesses.
Announced on its business blog Tuesday, Instagram will be focusing on “expanding ad offerings to include action-oriented formats, enabling more targeting capabilities,” and simplifying the ad-buying process for businesses.
According to James Quarles, Instagram’s global head of business and brand development, users have shown an interest in shopping through the app as Instagram has seen users grab screenshots of posts, which could mean they plan to research the featured product.
No more searching for “link in bio.” No more asking “Where can I buy this?” Users will now see action-oriented buttons appearing below promotional posts that will take them directly from the ad to purchase a product, sign up on a website, or install an app. Although ads on Instagram aren’t anything new, this is the first time that the platform has allowed links that led users outside the app.
Based on technology and lessons learned from parent company Facebook, a new API was also introduced with the capability to manage, track and measure marketing campaigns said Quarles. The company is also working with Facebook to expand ad reach on Instagram based on demographics, interests, and customer information from businesses.
“We have benefitted greatly from being a part of Facebook,” Quarles said. “It would have taken us years to build this tech stack for ourselves. So, we’re fortunate to be able to take select pieces of Facebook’s tech stack.”
The Instagram Ads API will be available to a select group of Facebook Marketing Partners and agencies, but plans are in place for global expansion throughout the year. According to the New York Times, investment firm RBC Capital Markets said that the update could generate $1.3 billion to $2.1 billion in revenue to Facebook.
Although this is a step in the right direction for Instagram advertisers, one must remember that Instagram was built to be a place for users to share and appreciate beautiful photos and videos. When sponsored posts first appeared on Instagram in November 2013, the company received backlash from users who were turned off by random ads from random companies they weren’t following. With the new move, Instagram claims that it is working to meet advertisers’ needs without disrupting the user experience.
Instagram Business Blog
New York Times