Until this morning, brands that wanted to put video ads on Instagram were limited to 15-second clips, the same length of video that users were able to post with their original content. Now, in order to appeal more to big brands and (hopefully) bring in more ad dollars, Instagram is offering the option for 30-second ads.
Instagram stated that the longer ads would "give ads a more cinematic feel." The ads would be integrated with Instagram's recent format update, allowing portrait and landscape photos in addition to the usual Instagram square. Because of this, users can expect to see overlap between ads that appear on Instagram and those seen in other media, such as television spots and online video ads, due to creators having more options and flexibility with the ads they are making.
The announcement is a sign of Facebook's influence over the social photography company, as Facebook's recent enthusiasm for video means we will likely be seeing more of it being integrated into the social media giant's various assets. AdWeek's Lauren Johnson reports that brands will be able to target specific groups of users with their ads in the same manner that many brands currently do on Facebook.
Johnson does point out the difficulty in using longer ads in online media, as more lengthy spots tend not to fare as well as short ones. But this simply means that advertisers will have to work harder to capture the attention of Instagram users. Johnson also notes that the need to create an ad that works in both a vertical and horizontal formats could also increase costs.
According to Sam Byford of the Verge, Instagram is also making this advertising option available to smaller companies, and in more territories, with Italy, Spain, South Korea, India, and Mexico available for advertising and more coming later in the month.
Instagram also announced a new premium-priced advertising option called "Marquee" which, according to Johnson, will allow a brand to run "ad blitzes" for short periods. Fox is the first company to try it with promos for its new fall shows. The initial ad, which is loud and annoying, is below: