Instagram, the popular photo-sharing social media channel, has announced its plans to expand its advertising availability to the UK from today, and also offering to Canadian and Australian markets later this year.
Originally testing advertising with a select few brands in the US – including Ben & Jerry’s, Taco Bell, Levi’s – and seeing really positive results from its estimated 34.9 million Instagram users, the next step was to expand globally with its advertising to further target over 200 million users worldwide.
Currently, the select UK advertisers are only able to target users by age, gender and geography and is charged cost-per-mille (cost per thousand impressions).
Instagram promises that its advertising will not affect the general look and feel of the application, and the process of rolling out advertising has reflected this – a slow process, to test the market and ultimately to ensure that users did not leave the app following poor user experience.
All images that are being promoted by the selected brands must adhere to Instagram’s strict brand guidelines, including: avoiding text overlay, too much white-space or overly edited images – as well as going through an approval process from the network’s founder, Kevin Systrom – making the concept to delivery process about two weeks.
Currently the platform is only open to select brands, including Starbucks, Cadbury, Channel 4, Rimmel, Estee Lauder, Sony Music, and Waitrose.