By Evan DeSimone
After what seems like a lifetime of waiting, Instagram is finally diving all the way into the ad game. Starting today, the photo editing and sharing app is throwing the switch on video ads. allowing marketers to reach its highly engaged mobile userbase with 30-second clips.
Instagram has already dabbled in video ads for a select pool of advertisers, but the latest move will open the feature up to a much wider field of companies. Businesses of all sizes will now have the opportunity to purchase ad flights on the social photo app. Fox was among the first to jump on board with the new program, purchasing an ad package for its upcoming Ryan Murphy film “Scream Queens.” Ads for the horror-comedy will hit Instagram Sept. 30, where they will reach the apps core group of predominantly millennial users.
Ads will be served in a wider variety of formats than previously possible. Thanks to Instagram’s latest update, advertisers can deliver video ads in landscape as well as portrait mode, making it easier to import or re-purpose existing ad content for the platform.
Advertisers will also have more options when it comes to where their ads will be seen. The new program will open up video ads in previously unavailable Instagram markets including Italy, Spain, Mexico, India and South Korea. The Facebook-owned company promises to leverage the best of its parent company’s vaunted advertising platform to simplify the placement and targeting process for marketers. The optimization tools will help to streamline the process of building cross-platform campaigns on Instagram and Facebook, a step that moves Instagram closer to the Facebook fold and further from its autonomous roots.
Thanks to its earlier launch, Instagram has enjoyed a lead on mobile video competitors like Vine and the recently ascendant Snapchat, but the platform has lagged behind in the ad game. The company has run visual ad campaigns for clients such as Gilt Group, Made.com, and Northface, but despite introducing video posts in 2013, the app has been reluctant to go wide with video advertising until now.