Friday, June 09, 2017

Instagram Adds New Direct Response Ad Options Within Stories

Instagram recently rolled out a new feature to increase its advertising potential. Accounts with more than 10,000 followers can now add swipeable links to their Instagram stories. The feature works with vertical photos and videos up to 15 seconds. Users can swipe up to reach the links, and at the bottom of the screen there are 12 action item options ranging from Download, Donate to Shop Now.

Since this feature is only available to accounts with more than 10,000 followers, it certainly impacts brands' and influencers’ potential to effectively convert sales through Instagram. On average, all else being equal among social platforms, I’ve heard that Instagram typically drives the highest conversion for brands. This new feature only enhances that potential. 

The downside to swipeable links is the inevitable development of more sales-friendly features such as shopping tags, or linkable photos directly on an Instagram feed. The reason I think this is a downside, is that Instagram has always been known for its authenticity in a social media world full of Facebook ads and shopping tag photos on Pinterest. Influencer marketing is now saturated as the SEC has new regulations on influencers selling products. Many fans and followers now feel that their favorite accounts have become too commercialized and scammy. Adding even more sales-friendly features will contribute to this loss of authenticity and perhaps lead to the downfall of influencer marketing; a strategy that thrived on the very authenticity it now lacks. 

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