Facebook in a blog post recently announced that it will be opening Instagram’s Explore section to advertisers for the first time ever. With Instagram’s Explore Ads, they are giving brands the chance to buy sponsored posts in the content discovery portal as it inches further toward a pay-to-play model.
About Instagram’s Explore Ads
Before this announcement, the social media platform used complex algorithms to offer personalized content recommendations to users. Branded content and sponsored posts were only available on ordinary posts, Instagram Stories and IGTV. Based on the announcement the platform plans to weave sponsored posts into the explore feed. Instagram’s Explore Ads will show users paid-for photos and videos as they browse. In the blog post, the social media platform pitched Instagram’s Explore Ads as one that would give advertisers the chance to be part of “what’s culturally relevant and trending while reaching new audiences who are looking to discover something new.”
Instagram’s Explore Ads will allow brands to extend their campaigns using automatic placements with a simple opt-in to reach audiences in Explore. This will remove the need for complex media buying or planning processes. The social media platform is aware that its users will take some time to get used to the new format. They plan to navigate through that by introducing the ads on the explore feed slowly and very thoughtfully in the coming months.
How Instagram’s Explore Ads Will Work
According to the social media platform, this is how the new format will work:
The brands will indicate which of their sponsored posts would appear in the explore feed. They will do this by selecting it as an extension of their Instagram campaigns which is usually set up through Facebook’s automated ad manager
The sponsored posts in the explore feed will not be visible in the top Explore gallery, which is the first page people see when they enter the section. It will only appear when a viewer clicks deeper into Explore, after choosing a video and then scrolling through the newly generated feed of videos.