Instagram is testing a live events feature, offering self-serve carousel ads

Dive Brief:

  • Instagram is about to roll out serve-serve access to carousel ads via Facebook’s Power Editor and Ad Manager platforms as well as Instagram ads API.
  • Carousel ads include up to five static images per ad, and according to Instagram, drive a 2.5 lift in ad recall.
  • Over the weekend, Instagram also tested its own version of Snapchat Live Stories and Twitter Moments, debuting a curated stream of content centered around Halloween. Users in the U.S. who opened their app on Saturday were prompted at the top of their feed to “Watch Halloween’s Best Videos.”

Dive Insight:


In a blog post, Instagram wrote, « By opening up the way advertisers can buy (carousel ads), businesses of all sizes around the world now have more flexible targeting, call-to-action button options and can customize their offsite links to help drive maximum return. »

Carousel ads launched in June and were the first Instagram posts that included links to websites outside of the social media platform. And providing marketers with a self-serve option with carousel ads is part of a trend where Instagram is opening its ad products to marketers of all sizes. One new addition for Instagram ad units is the ability to optimize for reach, frequency and conversions.

From the Instagram blog post, ”By optimizing for reach frequency, advertisers can manage the number of people they reach with their Instagram ads and how frequently the ads are shown. To make media planning and buying even easier, advertisers can also control the reach and frequency of campaigns across Instagram and Facebook.”

What’s more, according to marketing tech firm Kinetic Social, Facebook’s carousel ads are already outperforming other ad formats in clickthrough rate to advertiser’s websites, driving ten times more traffic than other formats.

As for the new curated content streams, an Instagram spokesperson told Re/code, “This is a new way to experience events and big moments, as they happen, through the eyes of the Instagram community, » adding that this is “just the start » of it.

For those users that did click on the new prompt, they were taken to video-only feeds curated by Instagram staffers. The goal with the curated feed is to help Instagramers find content more easily, specifically around particular events. Though this is just a test, it wouldn’t be surprising for Instagram to roll it out more permanently.

Recommended Reading

Marketing Land:
Instagram Is Giving Advertisers Self-Serve Access To Carousel Ads

Why Offering Self-Service Carousel Ads Could Attract More Marketers to Instagram

Instagram Builds Its Own Version of Snapchat Live Stories

Instagram for Business Blog:
More objectives. More flexibility. More ways to advertise.

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