Content Marketing Blog

Instagram unveils buy button and promises better targeting for ads

Instagram, Facebook’s popular photo-sharing app for smartphones, has announced a series of upgrades to its advertising products, including a buy button and the promise of better targeting.

This follows news last week that Google will soon be launching its own buy button that will allow users to make purchases directly from search results.

Google’s decision was driven in part by similar moves from internet rivals, including Facebook.

Buy buttons cut out a step for users, which means Google and Facebook keep their traffic and advertisers potentially achieve quicker conversions.


Instagram ad recall 2.9x higher than norm

Instagram was only launched in 2010, but has enjoyed stellar growth in its short life. Its popularity with younger, mobile users prompted Facebook to snap it up for USD $1 billion in 2012. Instagram now has more than 300 million active users, who have shared a total of 30 billion photos.

READ: Instagram bosses social media in 2014

In 2013, Instagram unveiled its first ad products – a necessary but often tricky process that all successful social media brands need to tackle.

Instagram ads are now available in eight countries, including Australia. A recent Nielsen Brand Effect study found that ad recall on a sample of 475 Instagram campaigns were 2.9x higher than the norm for online advertising.

“As we look to build on this momentum, we’re focused on three key areas: Expanding ad offerings to include action-oriented formats; enabling more targeting capabilities; and making it easier for businesses large and small to buy ads on Instagram,” the company said in a blog post.

Buy buttons, better targeting and access to the ads API

The most significant change for advertisers will be the opportunity to add standardised calls-to-action on their Instagram ads. Users will be able to “learn more”, “sign up”, “install” or “shop now” by clicking a button.

Instagram  buy  button examples, courtesy of the Instagram Business Blog

Instagram buy button examples, courtesy of the Instagram Business Blog

Instagram also said it would be working with its parent company, Facebook, to expand the targeting options for advertisers and improve its feedback processes so that users only saw the most relevant ads.

Facebook has been hugely successful in the advertising space, bringing in USD $3.32 billion from ad products in the first quarter of this year. More than two million advertisers are now using Facebook.

“We want to leverage the best of Facebook’s infrastructure for buying, managing and measuring the success of [our] ads,” Instagram said.

This will include granting access to Instagram’s advertising API to Facebook’s marketing partners. Facebook has established a number of key partnerships with third parties to grant limited access to its data.

In March this year, Facebook announced that it would be working with analytics specialist, DataSift, to build Topic Data, which helps content creators and advertisers tap into conversations taking place within the Facebook environment.

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Adam Barber
Adam Barber About the author

Adam is one of Castleford's founders and remains actively involved in the day-to-day running of the business. He started out as a writer and still contributes regularly to our blog, covering SEO, CRO, social media and digital strategy.

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