Instagram to roll out new Facebook-like features for advertisers

Dive Brief:

  • Instagram is expanding its options for marketers including profiles for businesses (think Facebook’s brand pages), additional measurement data on all posts (paid or not), and the ability to buy ads via a mobile device, a spokesperson told Re/code.
  • All of the moves are making advertising on Instagram more like advertising on Facebook. The two social media networks already share an ad platform.
  • From a marketing perspective, the moves make it even easier to create single campaigns that can run on both Instagram and Facebook and expect the same level of measurement and ease-of-use.

Dive Insight:

For brands, Instagram is becoming a lot more like parent company Facebook — and the latest moves show how the image-sharing network is trying to increase its appeal to advertisers.

“I think what’s most important is for people to understand that they can advertise on Instagram," Instagram COO Marne Levine told Re/code in an interview last week. "[Instagram advertising] is still pretty new.”

Instagram has been growing steadily as an advertising medium. It reached 200,000 active advertisers in February, according to a blog post, surpassing Twitter’s 130,000 active advertisers from Q4 2015, but still trailing parent company Facebook’s 2.5 million advertisers. And Instagram has been building its advertiser base since it opened up its platform to some advertisers in June 2015 and all advertisers later that year. 

Adding new features that make advertising on Instagram even more similar to Facebook makes sense. "People can be creative in using the two together and run things across both platforms," James Quarles, Instagram’s head of global advertising, told Venture Beat last month. "That really hasn’t existed much in the marketing world.”

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