In late-2015, Instagram announced that it would be expanding its advertising plans for use by all businesses. It marked a dramatic change for the social media behemoth, the largest growing platform in the world, and for its user base, which is expected to rise to around 520 million by the end of 2016.

It’s also a great relief for businesses. Before the change, the cost of advertising on Instagram was noted as costing between a staggering $200k – $1 million!

The ad-buying tools are similar to those found on Facebook (as you might expect, Facebook having acquired Instagram several years ago), allowing for the kind of targeting and analytics tools marketers will be familiar with.

The only difference between a standard post and an ad is the blue sponsor badge, as seen in the image below. On an app that is already so fluidly designed, this allows for a more subtle inclusion of commercial content into user’s feeds than that seen on other platforms.

instagram-ads

For those concerned by Instagram’s infamous content restrictions, fear not! The company is expanded options for advertisers, allowing them to post videos up to 30 seconds in length (compared to 15 for general users), along with the recent inclusion of GIFs as an accepted format, and the emergence of stock photo databases specifically for use on Instagram.

While users initially complained about some of the more obvious advertising, tales of success are already being shared, including an announced increase of 85% to app installations for U.S.-based online shopping website Gilt Groupe.

For businesses wishing to expand their social media presence, now is the time.

For more information on how to advertise with Instragam, visit their business website.

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