Instagram to start showing ads in Explore tab

Instagram to start showing ads in Explore tab

Instagram announced Wednesday that it is introducing ads in its Explore tab, the section where users can browse content and discover new accounts based on their interests.

The company said it will be rolling out the ads “slowly and thoughtfully” over the coming months. Instagram’s Business Product Marketing Director Susan Bucker Rose told TechCrunch Instagram will first test the ads to promote IGTV (Instagram’s long-form video platform) before offering the ad unit to a “handful of brands” over the upcoming weeks.

Why we should care

Instagram’s advertising business is growing faster than Facebook, and the site is experiencing more user engagement growth than it’s parent platform, too. It’s no surprise the company is looking to take advantage of that growth by finding new ways to generate ad revenue. Putting ads in the Explore tab will give Instagram advertisers a new inventory area to reach users beyond their feeds.

In the initial roll out, Instagram will only show ads to users after they’ve engaged with Explore content. Ads will be eligible to show to users once they have tapped on a photo or video within Explore. Then, Instagram said, the user, “May begin to see ads as part of their browsing experience just like in the main feed.”

More on the news

  • Brands will be able to place ads in Explore via the Facebook Ads Manager — just as they can for Instagram Feed and Stories ads: “Advertisers can easily extend their campaigns using automatic placements with a simple opt-in to reach audiences in Explore.”
  • According to Instagram, more than 50% of its billion users visit the Explore tab every month and 80% of its users follow a business account on the platform.
  • Earlier this month, Instagram made it possible for advertisers to turn organic posts from influencers into ads.