Instagram Introduces New Look, Powerful Advertising Options

Instagram presented a new, cleaner layout. The platform got rid of borders around images and bubble-type effects. The number of rows was also reduced which means individual images became larger, taking up more screen space. Profile images became round and background images have gone away from the profile area.

Overall, the transition improves visual experience and creates a more modern, professional look. Although the changes are more visible on desktop, it aligns it better with an app experience. Furthermore, the new embedded images look gives space for a crisper look that publishers and marketers will appreciate.

The move comes after last week’s announcement of introduction of a series of powerful marketing tools, including CTA buttons (“Shop Now”, “Install Now”, and “Sign up” are available at this point), interest and demographic targeting, and an API for large campaigns management. While Instagram advertising is not new in a large corporate world, these upgrades try to include a value proposition for smaller businesses, as well.

More relevance through enhanced targeting

Since the introduction in 2013, Instagram ads were used primarily by large publishers like McDonalds, Starbucks and others to stay top of mind. The latest changes shift the focus to more trackable actions, such as purchases, installations and signups. Instagram says it aims to make its advertising capabilities accessible for large and small businesses.

The platform is planning on tapping into its parent company’s capabilities. “There are more than two million advertisers who actively use Facebook to market their business and we want to leverage the best of Facebook’s infrastructure for buying, managing and measuring the success of ads on Instagram. We will start by opening the Instagram Ads API to a select group of Facebook Marketing Partners and agencies, and we plan to expand globally throughout the year,” the official Instagram blog states.

The first distinct instance of an ability to really engage with ads (besides clicking on a photo itself) came in the beginning of this year with a roll out of photo carousels and accompanying “Learn More” button. The most interesting thing is that in likes of continuous efforts to keep Instagram its own enclosed system, the new buttons won’t take users away from Instagram. Once a user clicks on a CTA button, the app will open browser within an app, so that after an action is performed, a user can come back into Instagram.

More changes are coming soon as hinted by Instagram itself, “Later this year, we will continue to connect businesses to the right people through expanded targeting options. Working with Facebook, we will enable advertisers to reach people on Instagram based on demographics and interests, as well as information businesses have about their own customers. We will also improve the feedback mechanisms within Instagram to give people greater control and improve the relevance of the ads they see.”

What do you think of all the recent changes on Instagram? Do you like it? Do you need a time to test it out? Let me know in the comment section below.

Originally published at on June 10, 2015.