Canadian brands looking to advertise on picture sharing platform Instagram have a new tool to use.
At Facebook’s brand summit in Toronto on May 28, Instagram announced the introduction of Carousel Ads. Canadian advertisers can now include up to four images in a single post that users can swipe through and link off of, like flipping the pages of a digital magazine. The ad unit made its debut in the U.S. in April.
Dan Habashi, the director of brand development at Instagram – which is owned by Facebook – said, “It’s another toolset available to brands to deepen the story [brands] can tell. The idea is we want brands to feel at home on Instagram like any other person would.”
The product was launched by Instagram and its partners — including Rogers’ Fido and Shomi, Fairmont Hotels, Clearly Contacts, Air Canada, Sport Chek and Canadian Tire — on May 28. Carousel Ads will be available for other Canadian brands starting on June 1, but at no point will consumers have access to the tool.
“What I think is unique about carousel, it’s the first time [an Instagram product has] lead with brands; it’s not a community driven product,” said Habashi. “As businesses continue to grow on Instagram, there are more businesses now than there were a year ago and a year before that, they need different tools.”
Instagram has focused on appealing to everyday consumers through updates like new filters and layouts. But, “this time around, we heard loud and clear from our partners two years ago they wanted different things. We kept noting and watching and learning and figured let’s try this.”