Instagram has introduced a new video format for its swipeable carousel ads. Brands and publishers will now be able to select a combination of up to five videos and photos as the social media platform continues its focus on encouraging users to engage with high-quality content.
Instagram launched carousel ads in March 2015 in order to help brands share stories through a slideshow of imagery. It has claimed that the swipeable ads have made content more relevant, as they perform better than static images, with internal studies showing that they have increased ad recall and driven a 58 per cent rise in conversion rates.
The platform is now adding videos into the mix in order to provide advertisers with more options and to take advantage of the growing consumption of clips across social media. Instagram Global Head of Business and Brand Development James Quarles said that video views have soared by 40 per cent during the last six months.
“The reason why we’re excited for video carousel ads is this format gives marketers creative flexibility to tell richer stories on Instagram,” Quarles said. “We consistently hear from businesses that the hardest thing for them to do – particularly as people spend so much time in digital and on mobile – is to capture people’s attention.”
Engaging video ads
Brands can place between three and five pieces of video and image-based content in each carousel ad, with each clip being limited to a 60-second running time. Users will see the first of the slides in their news feeds by default and can swipe to reveal the rest. Taco Bell, Macy’s and Airbnb are among the first brands that have embraced the new video format.
Quarles concluded: “We think this combination of video and carousel is very powerful. The immersive nature of sequential video allows people to be inspired by a business and then progressively learn more about how it fits into their life.”
Instagram now has in excess of 400 million active users who spend an average of 21 minutes each day on the platform. Mark Zuckerberg also recently revealed that around 200,000 enterprises advertise on Instagram every month.