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Instagram bolsters ad offerings

  • Wed, 03 Jun 2015 23:57

Photo-centric social network Instagram is beefing up its advertising capabilities.

The Facebook-owned service said Tuesday it’s planning to introduce a number of features to help marketers target and track ads more effectively across its platform, and to drive specific actions from them.

“Instagram is growing into a strong mobile ad platform,” said James Quarles, Instagram’s global head of business and brand development. “It’s exciting for us to be able to expand to our next chapter.”

To that end, the company said it will begin testing new ad formats over the next few days, which will prompt users to do things such as installing an app, signing up for an email newsletter, or linking out to a retailer’s site to purchase a product. The idea is to move beyond branding to let marketers focus on driving specific outcomes that are important to their businesses.

Later this year, Instagram also plans to offer new ad targeting capabilities to match Facebook’s. Advertisers will soon be able to use Facebook’s granular user data to target users based on specific parameters, for example, as opposed to the broad demographic targeting Instagram has offered to date.

Marketers will also be able to use their own data to target Instagram users, enabling them to send ads to consumers based on their email addresses or previous visits to their websites, for example.

“As we move from the largest brands to those with narrower audiences, we want to introduce more interesting targeting,” Mr. Quarles said.

To make advertising on Instagram easier, the company also plans to introduce an API, or application programming interface, to enable marketers to buy ads using automated software.

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