Instagram's new ad format allows brands to tell stories

But marketers are being warned not to bombard users with images.

Instagram's new carousel ad format
Instagram's new carousel ad format

MENLO PARK, CA: Instagram has introduced a "carousel" ad format, which allows brands to post more than one image at a time.

The new format allows Instagram users to swipe sideways and view multiple brand photos, rather than the usual single shot. Carousel ads also display a "learn more" button, which links to a brand's site.

The idea is to allow marketers to tell "complete stories," about a brand.

"One way to look at it is carousel ads bring the potential of multi-page print campaigns to mobile phones – with the added benefit of taking people to a website to learn more," the company wrote on its blog. "[For example], a car company might share an array of different features of a vehicle and provide a link to learn more about the new model."

The feature does not yet apply to Instagram video ads. It is only available in the US for Instagram’s initial partner brands, which have not been named.

Joanna Parnell, director at Unique Digital, said brands using the new format should be careful not to flood users with ads.

"It is extremely important that as brands leverage ad spend opportunities on the platform, Instagram maintains its thirst for authenticity," she said. "Many Instagram users consider themselves as being a cut above your average social networker. With a sharp focus on creating and sharing moments of art, brands must still respect this with content planning on the platform."

The new ads have gone live in the US, a spokeswoman told Marketing.

This article originally appeared on Marketing.

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