Instagram broadened its options for advertisers on last Wednesday with a new type of ad unit that lets readers swipe left to learn more about the brand or product.
Called carousel ads, the product was developed after marketers clamored for a way to “tell sequenced stories in beautiful, compelling ways that lead to meaningful results for their businesses,” the Facebook unit wrote in a blog post on Wednesday. Instagram has addressed that need with the new Tinder-like functionality, although here, you swipe left instead of right if you like what you see.
In addition to images, an advertiser can also send interested users to their website with a “learn more” button.
Instagram is introducing the new format on a limited basis. The ads will show up in users’ feeds “in coming weeks,” the company said. A rep declined to say which advertisers are using the new format.
Facebook bought Instagram for around $1 billion in 2012. The following November, Instagram began running ads. Contrary to users’ darkest fears, the company hasn’t flooded its feed with sponsored messages, but instead has taken a boutique approach, limiting the number of advertisers and taking pains to ensure the ads are an aesthetic fit. This latest enhancement appears to continue in the same spirit, appeasing advertisers without hijacking the user experience.
On the other hand, users may cry foul that advertisers are now allowed access to functionality that they themselves don’t have.
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