Facebook steps up advertising on Instagram

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Before today, advertising on Instagram was mostly limited as media buyers had had to contact an Instagram sales representative directly. But things have just changed for the better (or worse, depending on your point of view) as Instagram’s parent company, Facebook, has officially switched on Instagram’s advertising application programming interface (API) to allow brands to buy ad slots on Instagram in a more automated fashion, Business Insider is reporting.

Because there’s a lot of pent-up demand for targeted ads on the popular mobile photography service, this major move practically spells an end to Instagram’s light ad experience as Instagram is poised to make big bucks by shoving more and more ads down users’ throat.

Enabling programatic advertising is a major move that will not only help Instagram compete more effectively with the likes of Google and Twitter for advertisers’ money, it’s also a big change for users who will now be exposed to more ads on the service, whether they like it or not.

Among the third-parties participating in the Instagram advertising API are some of Facebook’s biggest marketing partners such as Kenshoo, Brand Networks, Salesforce Marketing Cloud, Unified, SocialCode, 4C, Nanigans and Ampush.

No longer do marketers have to jump through hoops to coordinate their social media campaigns. Brands can now automate their digital ad buys on Instagram using third-party platforms using features like Facebook-powered ad targeting, Instagram shopping links, video ads, carousel ads, mobile app install ads, photos that aren’t paid-for ads and many more.

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The tools give marketers the ability to track all aspects of a social-media campaign without having to switch between their phone and computer.

“For example, if a new product is launched, responses to comments and engagement with users on Instagram can be carried out from the same window that is being used to engage followers on Twitter and Facebook,” Hootsuite, one of Instagram ad API’s launch partners, said in a media release.

”Everything is in one place.“

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Instagram could generate an EMarketer-estimated $595 million in advertising revenue this year. The research firm estimated Instagram will be on track to beat Google and Twitter for U.S. mobile display ad revenues by 2017 ($1 billion), rising to as much as $3.86 billion by 2020.

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Key takeaway: you’re about to see more Instagram ads thanks to its new API, whether you like it or not.

Source: Business Insider