Instagram opens platform to brands, introduces 30-second ads

Instagram will soon let brands buy ads on the platform without going through a salesperson.

Instagram, the photo-sharing app owned by Facebook, is opening its platform to all advertisers by the end of this month.

Businesses of all sizes will be able to advertise on Instagram starting on Wednesday, and the ads will be available in more than 30 new markets such as Italy, Spain, Mexico, India, and South Korea.

At the end of this month, ads will be available in all markets. Until this point, campaigns on the platform were only available in eight markets.

"The latest comScore mobile metrics data shows that Facebook and Instagram in the UK represent one in every four minutes that are spent on mobile," said Steve Hatch, UK and Ireland director at Facebook. "We’re now in a position to integrate Instagram into the Facebook interface, which makes it easier than ever for advertisers to do the things that we know that we want them to do."

Amy Cole, head of business operations for EMEA at Instagram, explained that there is also a "strong demand from the community to be able to engage in more depth with ads."

Therefore, the platform has been working with brands to encourage people to shop through the ads or play a game within the Instagram interface.

Instagram has also launched features for the app including a landscape format for images and videos. Advertisers will also be able to make use of 30 seconds for videos instead of the 15 seconds previously available.

"This is largely something that is generated by the community and seeking more ways to be creative on the platform," said Cole.

Instagram is pushing the marquee feature for brands, too, which encourages one-day campaigns for a product launch. Three different ads are dropped into the feed at various times of the day.

"It’s a point where we are really open for business. This is answering the needs of the community and the needs of the advertisers," Hatch said.

He called on brands to "bring your A team, because we have an incredible opportunity to drive business outcomes for clients."

This story originally appeared on Campaign UK.

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