Molly Buccini

If there’s one social media network that appears to be unstoppable, it’s Instagram. The picture-sharing platform boasts more than 300 million active users each month, and takes the cake for the most engaged social community (on average 3.31 percent per post.)

Instagram’s success can be attributed to its focus on individual user experiences, simplicity and lack of automation. While advertising opportunities weren’t always at the forefront of Instagram’s initiatives, a new blog post from the network suggests it’s making a big stride that brands will appreciate – carousel ads.

Carousel ads are described as “a new way for brands to share more images with people interested in their posts.” Not only will this feature allow users to look at several photos from one brand by swiping to the left or right, it will also allow for photos to have a backlink behind them.

Links add a huge advantage for marketers who want to use Instagram to reach customers. Previously, in order to get users to leave the social network and enter a website, marketers would have to include the brand link in the photo’s caption, or in the brand’s main Instagram page.

Instagram noted several ideas for the carousel ads: “a fashion company could use the carousel to deconstruct the individual products in a ‘look.’ 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.”

The feature is currently being tested among a limited number of brands. While smaller brands wait for the opportunity to utilize carousel ads, they can take advantage of Instagram by posting photos that boost engagement.

Want to learn more about Instagram for brand awareness? Check out this blog post by Social Media Manager Kristen Fritz – she’s sharing tips for success, plus examples of brands dominating the Instagram for business space.