Last month when Instagram – the photo and video sharing network had launched Carousel ads, doubts were rife that whether the network going forward will allow URLs for product purchases. It appears now that Instagram is not only providing links but is also working closely with a few influential brands to make shopping a one click experience on its platform.
According to AdWeek, Instagram is running its first marketing campaigns that transform viewers into shoppers with a single click. Finally, retailers can link to product pages from their Instagram ads—a feature Banana Republic was among the first to employ—and still more sophisticated ads are in the works.
While Instagram declined to comment on the story, it is being told that Instagram has been talking to retailers about more ways to integrate buying. Rumor has it that instead of a “Buy” button, Instagram would allow marketers to easily link to checkout pages online.
It is also being said that Instagram is considering a number of ad formats that could prove game changers for brands, similar to how Twitter built highly customizable ad cards that send users to products with ease.
The network acquired by Facebook claims to have 300 people around the world and first began showing ads in October 2013, later on came the video ads but over the time advertisers have demanded more meaningful returns. To meet business demands Instagram recently launched Carousel ads, a new way for brands to share more images with people interested in their posts.
So for the first time, Instagram started showing clickable links with the carousel ads that tells a story by letting you swipe through four branded images in sequence. The new “Learn More” button that houses these links will open a URL in an internal browser within Instagram that allows you to quickly jump back to the feed with a tap of the top bar.
Post this Banana Republic used its link to take viewers to a product page. It was the first time a retailer was able to send consumers directly to where they could buy products they saw in an Instagram ad. “We’ve been thrilled with all the features we’ve been participating in and plan to continue using the new tools as they become available,” said Banana Republic’s head of customer experience Aimee Lapic.
This is big news for brands as they have been waiting for such a development, in fact rarely would a brand not be ready to shell out the extra dollars for a platform which boasts more engagement than Twitter.
But these changes mean a lot of fundamental changes as in how the platform works and how users would react to such changes. Facebook has adopted a wait and watch strategy when it has come to advertisements on Instagram. Even though the new revelations are tempting for brands, Instagram will keep in mind the user experience for the mobile app first and then revenue generation.