Instagram's best features are already riddled with ads, but of course the company needs to cram some more in every space its app has that can accommodate them. Facebook stories are adding a little something to try and convince you to get your wallet out, too.
You'll Find Ads Between Instagram Reels Now
Instagram has announced that it's going to start testing ads in Reels, beginning in India, Brazil, Germany, and Australia. The company says that "in the coming months," the ads will slowly roll out to the rest of the world.
In something of a sneaky trick (used so that you don't even realize you're being advertised to), the new ads look and function very similarly to a Reel. You can view, like, comment on, save, share, and even skip them.
Additionally, the ads can be up to 30 seconds long and may include a Shop Now button link that'll take you to the advertiser's shop.
Out of all the TikTok clones on social media, Instagram Reels are probably the most successful. For that reason, this move shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone. Instagram added Shopping to Reels in an update last December, which allowed its creators to link products in their videos.
Facebook Is Testing Brand-Created Stickers for Stories
Meanwhile Facebook, which owns the photo-sharing platform, is experimenting with branded stickers for stories. Select influencers can use them to "monetize their Facebook Stories with ads that look like stickers and receive a portion of the resulting revenue."
This might be the most organic type of ad on social media we've seen so far. In the mockup image, the example sticker does read that it's "sponsored," but the text is still pretty discreet. It's much less obnoxious than a paid brand shoutout, that's for sure.
We have our fingers crossed that the leaked, upcoming automatic captioning feature will come to Facebook stories next.
Is This Product Placement Subtle Enough?
Facebook and Instagram's new ads come at a good time. A report came out recently claiming that people are shopping more on social media during the pandemic, so businesses should be eager to capitalize on this opportunity.
While ad revenue can be absolutely crucial to an app's earnings, adding more ads always runs the risk of making the user experience less enjoyable. Thankfully, both platforms have come up with elegant ways to go about them. Let's just hope that the ads don't pop up more frequently than our friends' Reels and stories.