Instagram nips at cosmetic surgery and diet posts

Instagram has announced that it will restrict users under the age of 18 from seeing posts that promote select weight-loss products and cosmetic surgery procedures, while the company will also ban some types of ads that promote unrealistic “get thin quick” products entirely.

From now the company will restrict users under the age of 18 from seeing any Instagram posts that promote weight-loss products or types of cosmetic surgery that also have an incentive to buy or are accompanied by a price for the product shown in the post. Posts do not need to be from the product’s account to be eligible for the ban. Any influencer who, for example, shows a sachet of “weight loss” tea in a post and urges their followers to buy it would find that post will not be shown to under-18’s.

The company also said it will remove posts entirely if it “makes a miraculous claim about certain diet or weight-loss products, and is linked to a commercial offer such as a discount code.”

Why it’s Hot:

As a platform that’s largely driven by unrealistic portrayals of influencers’ lives, how much impact will this “ban” really have on the Instagram experience? Are they taking a cue from Pinterest in taking a moral stance here? Is it too little, too late?


Instagram Brings Interactive Elements to Stories Ads

Coming off the tail-end of the in-app shopping launch, Instagram is bringing the poll sticker functionality to its Stories ads, delivering its 500 million users who use Stories daily a new way to interact with brands and ads.

Instagram Stories ads are a way for brands to share photos and videos with their key customer audiences to generate awareness or drive action. The poll functionality allows companies to build connections with their audience by asking questions within the ad itself.

Brands are already seeing the positive impact of using the poll stickers in their ads. Nine out of 10 beta campaigns testing the poll sticker saw an increase in the number of three-second video views. Specifically, Dunkin’ experienced a 20 percent lower cost per video, while Next Games saw a 40 percent increase in app installations.

Asos tested the polling feature in an effort to promote its new unisex fashion brand, Collusion. For the brand’s first ad poll they asked their customers if they thought clothes should be gendered, making customers feel like they’re part of the brand story while providing Asos with insight into their customer sentiment.

Why it’s hot?

For companies, not only does this interactive feature encourage ad consumption and engagement, but it allows them to collect real-time data about their audience.

Users now have an additional touchpoint for interacting with brands, and have an enhanced opportunity to provide feedback and collaborate with their favorite brands. No longer are ads speaking to consumers, but instead, they’re pulling them in by including them in the ad experience.

(Source: Adweek)

Insta leans into Influencers

Today, Instagram rolls out a new feature that will now tell you who’s getting paid to post. I.e. You see your favorite Instagram model is going to a music festival in the Bahamas, and the post itself will have a call out to the sponsorship.
In addition to contributing to the suite of ad products Instagram currently provides to advertisers, this feature will explicitly note partnerships, sponsorships and paid product placement– and will hopefully mark the beginning of the end of the #ad hashtag. influencer marketing tends to be covert and transparency has at times been an issue. But instead of trying to fool consumers, Insta is leaning into its place as the natural outlet for bloggers and brands alike to reach their audience.

Instagram ‘Carousel’ Feature Adds More Photos to Its Ads

Instagram has unveiled a “carousel ads” format that will allow advertisers to post up to four photos, which users can then scroll through with a horizontal swipe. The carousel ads will also include a “Learn More” link that will lead to a dedicated landing page.


Why this is hot?

The new carousel ads, which are like print magazine spreads with links, allow advertisers to create deeper stories, providing more details and points of views, while the links add the opportunity to deliver a clear CTA that tells users exactly what to expect next.

Source: Re/Code

Instagram Will Launch Carousel Ads

On Wednesday, March 4th, Instagram announced that they will be launching carousel ads. These ads will give brands more flexibility in sharing their stories by allowing people who view their ads to swipe left to see additional images and link to a website of the brand’s choice. This will allow brands to bring multi-page print ads to mobile users. In addition, this will allow brands to drive traffic to a website to gain more information on what they are promoting/sharing.

Example:  A car company might share an array of different features of a vehicle and provide a link to learn more about the new model. Or, an advertiser could showcase how multiple ingredients come together to make a delicious meal.

Instagram states, “We are introducing this new format on a limited basis. In the coming weeks, you may see carousel ads and might notice variations of the format as we learn what people are most interested in and what performs best.”

Why It’s Hot

This will allow a brand’s audience to view multiple ads in one place. If a user is engaged in the content, they will have the option to swipe left and learn more about a brand. Ultimately, brands will be able to easily showcase multi-print campaigns on Instagram. It will be exciting to see how brands will use this new feature to create engaging content.

Instagram’s New Endlessly-Looping Video Feature

InstagramInstagram wants to make sure you see and watch all the videos in your feed. The Facebook-owned video and photo-sharing application now auto-loops videos that appear in users’ feeds.

Instagram updated its app on February 3, 2015 to include the continually-replaying video feature, and it is strikingly similar to the way videos play on the Twitter-owned Vine app. According to VentureBeat, the app’s mobile users won’t be able to pause video playback, as they can on Vine. Instead, they must scroll past the video entirely. Instagram noted the auto-looping videos won’t eat up extra data for users on mobile devices.

However, Instagram’s mobile users can still choose to mute the clip’s sound, which automatically plays as the clip does. And users who view Instagram videos via the web will be able to pause those clips as they would a normal YouTube or Vine video.


Why It’s Hot: While Instagram is still arguably more well-known for its photo sharing abilities, marketers should be happy to see the auto-looping videos. Instagram started running video ads in late 2014, bringing brands like Disney, CW, and Activision on board. The auto-loop feature means Instagram users won’t be able to miss these and other marketers’ video ads.


McDonald’s Gets Super-Sized Backlash With Instagram Ads

McDonald’s recently ran a number of sponsored ads on Instagram to promote the Bacon Clubhouse burger that was launched earlier this year to appeal to millennials and make up for slipping sales. These marketing efforts seem to be falling flat though with a swarm of backlash against the burger chain’s ad.

“While we are unable to provide specific details about our media strategies, we are always looking to engage with our guests and fans in fun and relevant ways in social media. Instagram allows us to share compelling and entertaining photos about our brand, food and more in unexpected and innovative ways,” said David Martinelli, digital marketing manager at McDonald’s.

One such ad appeared on Monday morning. The post had 45,347 “likes” and 1,941 comments, many of which were negative from users who were ticked off by seeing a McDonald’s ad in their newsfeeds.


Why It’s Hot

Actively, and successfully, engaging the Millennial audience is more than being present on the social platforms they frequent and throwing “text-talk” into copy or jumping on the next red-hot trend. This audience is difficult as they have the highest BS radar of all – they know when they’re being marketed to and more importantly, they see right through a brand’s attempt at being “hip” and take personal offense to intrusive brands in their personal social network feeds.  As a result, it comes as no surprise that McDonald’s was faced with negative sentiment towards their new Instagram ads and it implies the brand’s lack of understanding of this audience. The platform’s popularity with the younger audience is a direct result of an unfiltered feed, free of ads, and it’s clear this audience is still resistant to this forthcoming change in their photo streams.

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