New Instagram feature makes e-commerce possible for sponsored posts

Instagram moves to a more commercial model, e-commerce launches June 1

Following last November’s launch of advertising on Instagram, the Facebook-owned photo-sharing platform is moving towards a more e-commerce-friendly model, Instagram’s ANZ lead Sophie Blachford said yesterday.

Called Carousel, the new addition to Instagram’s suite of products will only be available for sponsored posts and will launch in the Australian market on June 1. “[It] allows advertisers to continue to tell their brand stories, but over a series of images you can scroll horizontally and there’s a load more button. That allows the user to go to their website and continue the story within the Instagram app.”

Instagram posits itself as a place for creativity, simplicity, community and inspiration – and according to new Hoop Group research for the platform, brands are welcome on the platform as long as they adhere to these rules.

“Brands are an accepted member of the Instagram community, and they can inspire as well as individuals. 68% say that brands need to be creative to make an impact – impact includes retail detail as well,” said Hoop Group’s Liz Farquharson. This new data also showed that 48% of users say that Instagram is a good way to learn about new products and services. Rather than being perceived as intrusive, she suggested that Instagram ads benefited the community – 43% have taken action after seeing a sponsored post, and 5% bought something.

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