Instagram Introduces 'Carousel' Ad Format

Tim Maytom

instagram carouselInstagram has introduced a new ad format that will enable brand marketers to display more images through its photo-sharing app, with users able to swipe through multiple images in the 'carousel' ads, and click through photos to a website.

According to a blog post by the company announcing the format, the new carousel ads are meant to replicate the look of multi-page print campaigns on mobile phones "with the added benefit of taking people to a website to learn more".

"For instance, a fashion company could use the carousel to deconstruct the individual products in a 'look'. A car company might share an array of different features of a vehicle and provide a link to learn more about the new model."

The ads will include a 'Learn More' button that opens a URL in an internal browser within Instagram, enabling users to quickly return to their photo feed with a tap of the top bar.

The carousel ads will initially only be available in the US to a limited group of advertising partners, which mirrors the cautious rollout Instagram has taken with its other advertising efforts, eager not to alienate its users.

The new ad format is the latest step the Facebook-owned company has taken to strengthen its position as an online marketing channel, with photo ads introduced in late 2013 and video ads brought in last year.