Instagram’s “Explore” tab is one of the most engaging parts of the image-sharing app: it shows users content that they may enjoy, algorithmically tailored based on photos they’ve engaged with previously. The social media platform announced last month that they plan to introduce ads to this portion of the app “slowly and thoughtfully” over the coming weeks.
Instagram Statistics and Usage
In the U.S., Instagram usage is expected to reach over 117 million people within the next three years, according to recent research. The announcement of ads in the Explore feed means that the Facebook-owned platform can expect its revenue to grow even further beyond the projected $15.7 billion within that time frame.
A majority of users are under the age of 35 (34% are millennials), and 72% of American teens use Instagram, making it the top social media platform for those under 20. There are also users in all income brackets, meaning that there is a market for just about any product at any price point.
The app is used heavily, with over one billion people using it each month, and 22% of all users logging in at least once a day. Of these, more than 50% of accounts use Explore every month. With numbers like these, it’s no wonder that Instagram seeks to capitalize on its rapt user base.
Explore Ads & Your Strategy
Photo and video ads alike will appear among Explore posts with images. Sponsored posts will be integrated seamlessly, easing user transition into the new content. One of the most challenging aspects of app development is avoiding an interruption in user experience while also ensuring that advertised content will be seen.
Instagram has assured its users that they have control over the ads they see, and that advertisers will need to contribute to “what’s culturally relevant and trending while reaching new audiences who are looking to discover something new.” That probably means that low-effort or unoptimized posts won’t see great success on the app.
Because Instagram is a heavily visual platform, companies will need to ensure that their ads are aesthetically pleasing and offer value to potential customers. Video ads in particular will stand out, since the Explore feed algorithmically prioritizes this type of content. Because users spend more time with content on this tab, it is recommended to consider long-form video or engaging captions for ads placed here.
Advertisers may begin placing ads in the Explore feed by opting in to use automatic placements.
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