New Instagram Advertising Feature

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Instagram announced it’s soon starting a placement of ads within the Explore page. Well, not on the main front page itself (yet) but within the feed of additional content that opens up once a user has opened a piece of content and starts scrolling.

This seemingly small addition is actually a big move. it signals Facebook Inc’s move to capitalise on ‘Visual Search’. Instagram’s Explore page is where users go to seek out new content and pages that align with their interests. Either discovering new content in the search bar, by using the prompted interest categories or by the Explore Grid on screen.

Why should you care? This Explore feature drives around 20% of Instagram’s usage. Someone searching for #sustainablefashion, searching more broadly in a Style category, or more simply clicking on a video of a dress is now targetable with your advertising dollar.

This visual search differs from Google’s search query mainly around the user’s ‘intent’. Someone searching for ‘men’s suits Auckland’ likely has the intent of purchasing or investigating a product then and there. A visual search is more exploratory, introductory and passive as users are exposed to a range of content that suits the topic of interest. A marketer might say it’s a little higher up the customer journey funnel and therefore a place to trial testing your hero campaigns and making a great first impression.

Sam Clode