SAN FRANCISCO: Instagram, the video-sharing app owned by Facebook, is opening up advertising on its site to all brands as part of a major global expansion programme.
Previously available in only eight countries, from September 30 ads on Instagram will be extended to more than 30 new markets, including Italy, Spain, Mexico, India and South Korea.
Instagram also announced in a blogpost that advertising will be opened up to any brand in those new markets as opposed to just the select group that have been using the platform in the US, UK, Australia and its five other established markets.
It also announced significant changes to its ad platform, such as extending the length of ads to a TV-style 30 seconds, up from its previous limit of 15 seconds. This is so "brands can engage in richer storytelling," the company said.
In addition, advertisers will be able to use landscape photo and video to give their ads "a more cinematic feel" and there are enhanced delivery and optimisation tools.
Finally, a new ad format called "Marquee" is being billed as a premium product allowing advertisers to run campaigns aimed at delivering high awareness over a short period time. Instagram suggested this would be useful for new product launches or particular events.
"Thousands of businesses around the world already use Instagram as their shop window, and we're making it easier for them to do more on the platform, from brand to direct response ads," the company said.
It went on to claim that, with the addition of new formats, it is starting to see marketers achieve a range of objectives, from website clicks to mobile app installs.
For example, Gilt Groupe, the US online shopping portal, ran a campaign on the platform that lifted app installs by 85%, Instagram said.
Instagram currently has about 300m monthly active users and recent analysis from eMarketer estimated its global mobile ad revenues would grow to $595m this year, rising to $2.81bn by 2017.
Data sourced from Instagram; additional content by Warc staff