Instagram has created a new ad unit where brands can share a series of photos in one post and lead users to a mobile website of the brand’s choosing.
Users can swipe left to right to see the photos. When they reach the end of the series, there will be a clickable button that says, “Learn More.” This allows brands to provide a more immersive experience on one post without posting multiple views of the same product on their feed, which can avoid redundancy.
“This is huge news for the travel industry and further evidence of the importance of Instagram in the travel marketers arsenal,” says Jeremy Jauncey, founder of Instagram consultancy Beautiful Destinations. “Where the early focus of travel brands has been on content creation, the ability to now link this content to measurable actions outside of Instagram is incredibly valuable. The impact of highly liked and commented on content is now quantifiable”
For example, one of Starwood’s (which was the first travel brand to advertise on Instagram) hotels could share a poolside view with a shot of a speciality cocktail at the bar, hip hotel lobby interiors, and guests getting a spa treatment of one property that will appear as one carousel post on a user’s Instagram feed.
The “Learn More” button takes users to a mobile site from the brand. Users can finally click and be taken to a mobile-optimized site directly related to the content. The button is not customizable at this time.
Brands are on their own when it comes to tracking the user activity, though. An Instagram spokesperson told Skift, “We are not currently providing a way to track conversions from clicks or click-through rates.” Although this is not the solution that brands and users were pining for, it’s a much more compelling way to get users off Instagram and on to a brand’s own site than what existed before: a single link in the profile description.
Hospitality brands like Conrad Hotels and Resorts’ investment in the Like2Buy technology may be curtailed, should Instagram decid to open up the floodgates. However at the rate Instagram is going with advertising partners, this may not happen in the near future.