Facebook once again has news involving its use of videos, but this time it involves Instagram. The company revealed that carousel ads on its photo-sharing app will now support use of videos that it hopes will create “a richer storytelling experience.” Starting today, advertisers can have carousel ads entirely made up of videos, photos, or a mixture of the two formats.
Launched a year ago, carousel ads are a way to allow brands to create more interesting meant appeal to users. When you encounter them in your feed, you just swipe left to cycle through up to five pieces of media per ad. Until today the carousel was limited to photos.
The investment the company has made into video is well-known. The Facebook-owned company now allows users and advertisers to create videos up to 60 seconds in length, a vast improvement from when it was limited to 15 seconds. It has also rolled out new channels designed to highlight videos you might like, added a view counter to videos, and more.
Instagram claims that in the past six months, the time people have spent consuming video on the app has gone up by 40 percent. This, combined with the fact that video “drives higher favorability than campaigns with static photos,” fueled today’s move.
Sharing a better story on Instagram is certainly helped by having videos within carousel ads. A picture can speak volumes, but there are some occasions and events where a video will really make you feel something, and that could wind up converting into a sale.
Instagram explained that when Disney used its carousel ads to promote the film Alice: Through the Looking Glass, the company used videos to show the journey the protagonist Alice took after she stepped through the mirror into Wonderland. The carousel ad was targeted to Disney fans, females 13 to 24, and other audiences that may have been interested in the trailer. It also offered an option to reserve advance tickets to the movie.
“Video in carousel allows us to bring the magic of Disney to Instagrammers in a more immersive way on mobile,” said Jessica Intihar, vice president of digital marketing at The Walt Disney Company. “People come to Instagram to engage around their interests, and we want to spark their imagination.”
Advertisers will be able to manage the order in which the content is displayed in their ads.