Instagram is five years old

By Teamspirit on Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Instagram is five years old. For our very own millennial, Freddie Rouse, that’s like middle-aged.

So Instagram turns five. This coupled with the long awaited update to Instagram’s API (Application programming interface) creates a real milestone for the brand. Overall, this should all be to the delight of advertisers around the world. A social platform come-of-age and for the first time, marketers can start buying advertising space and planning their Instagram marketing in a far more automated and seamless way, alongside other digital advertising such as Facebook or Twitter.

At just over 38%, Instagram has over twice the proportion of 16-24 year olds as Facebook. Myself included in that cohort. Interestingly, they also still maintain steady growth and more socially active users.

So, what does this mean for advertisers? Well, for one, marketers will have the ability to accurately reach and target younger customers, like myself, who are increasingly shunning Facebook, after all, Facebook is where your Mum and your aunt live their online social lives.

Imagine the opportunities of targeting the previously unreachable age group of 16-24, which hasn’t been properly accessible since the early days of Facebook. The challenge however may be in how to create relevant and targeted content. The platform will allow for advertisers to create targeted, visually beautiful messages that are focused towards a socially engaged audience. Testing for the new Instagram model started in 2013, but was only open to major brands like Burberry, Waitrose and Coca Cola. But now FS brands will have access to the new software developed to allow all brands to use the third-party ad tech vendors to buy and manage Instagram ad formats on a self-service basis.

Instagram’s photo loving users may be less enthused….
The main benefits for advertisers include the high quality image and video ad formats allowing for standout on the newsfeed as well as the ability to be interactive, allowing brands to drive direct sales, app installs or further engagement with the campaign or product. But how will users feel about the perceived intrusion? And how do brands overcome the negativity and engage this audience effectively? Especially with potentially complex products and services. A tough call, but with the right creativity one that could create a whole new realm for FS brands to play with.

In short: advertisers should – and will flock to Instagram. The question is, which FS brand will be first? And then which will do it justice.

PS. If you are an Instagrammer, don’t worry. Instagram will monitor the advertising stream for its volume, frequency and creative integrity ensuring its users will not be constantly spammed.

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