Instagram working on new format for branded content ads

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An Instagram flower wall is shown at the Facebook Canadian Summit in Toronto on Wednesday, March 28, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Donovan

Since several small and big businesses are thriving on Instagram, the Facebook-owned photo messaging app is developing a new format to allow brands, influencers and public figures to easily come together for better advertising, spanning more people.

Announced at a “Breakfast Tuesday” for businesses and influencers, the “Branded content ads” feature comes as part of the app’s deeper strategy of connecting advertisers and creators into more formal partnerships, web portal AdAge reported late on Tuesday.

Until now, brands who wished to include popular Instagram users in their business campaigns and promotions would have to hire them despite which the posts would only reach the followers of the influencer.

The “Branded content ads” would enable advertisers to promote these Instagram campaigns just like they would any other advertisement, the report said.

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FILE – In this June 20, 2013 file photo, a journalist makes a video of the Instagram logo using the new video feature at Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif. The California Supreme Court will decide whether Facebook and other social media companies must turn over user content to criminal defendants. The justices are expected to rule Thursday, May 24, 2018, in a case that has pitted some of Silicon Valley’s biggest companies against public defenders. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File)

“Brands are seeing that this branded content ad product sometimes help overcome challenges they have with organic branded content. We are exploring ways that brands can amplify branded content,” the report quoted Ashley Yuki, Product Management Executive, Instagram as saying.

According to Yuki, the platform had been testing these advertisements since last year.

The offering will essentially be an extension of Instagram’s existing branded content tagging system – now, along with the ‘Paid Partnership’ tags, Social Media Today reported.

“Instagram also noted that it will continue to ramp up its push to remove inauthentic activity, including purchased followers and likes, in order to clean up its platform and improve the integrity of its metrics.”

Hosting over 1 billion monthly active users, influencer marketing on the photo-messaging app is expected to be a $2 billion market in 2019, according to Mediakix, an influencer agency.

Along with Instagram, other social networking giants like YouTube, Twitter and Snapchat are also working out ways to control the market that connects brands to the known users of their platforms.