Unpacking Instagram’s New Multi-Advertiser Layout: A Deep Dive into Changes, Concerns, and Future Impact
Fresh off the digital press, Instagram is shaking up its advertising world with a new multi-advertiser layout. With its relentless pursuit to enhance user targeting and advertiser reach, Instagram has once again shown it is not afraid to rewrite its own rulebook. Yet, as the dust settles on this latest experiment, only time will tell if this bold move will bear the fruit that Instagram anticipates or wilt underneath user displeasure.
The revamped layout is different from everything we’ve seen before on this platform. It has a new feature that groups four related sponsored posts together, providing a sleek interface sandwiched between the increasingly popular Reels. Each quartet of ads represents an ensemble handpicked to cater to each user’s unique preferences. This innovative move empowers marketers by allowing Instagram’s vast user base to view an entire segment of related ads simultaneously. However, it is worth noting that Instagram has also given advertisers the autonomy to opt-out of this feature from the Settings menu if they choose to.
But as with any significant shift, there are potential pitfalls along with the promised prizes. For advertisers, this new approach could keep Cost per Milles (CPMs) low, as four slots are now available, where previously only space for one ad existed. The flip side though is a risk of monotonizing the ad space, essentially creating a situation where users become irritated with a bombardment of ads. This could lead to lowered engagement, thusly affecting the click-through rate (CTR), a crucial metric in any advertising strategy.
Observing the evolving landscape, Growth Marketing Consultant Barry Hott shares his insights. He envisions an initial success for brands as they capitalize on the novelty factor. Over time, however, user adaptation and a potential lower quality of impressions could dilute this advantage. Hott also expresses concerns over a potential drop in CPMs, a viewpoint shared by many industry peers.
From the user perspective, concerns about the new layout have started to surface. Katharine Mckee, a renowned digital commerce consultant, voices these concerns. Mckee fears an ‘ad-pocalypse’, a scenario where ad saturation interrupts the user experience and consequently leads to users skipping ads at a higher rate.
In response to the initial feedback, an Instagram spokesperson assures advertisers that this multi-advertiser layout is a refined version of what was previously being offered. The spokesperson iterates that the new setup is designed to showcase a diverse range of ads without unduly burdening the user experience.
As the social media environment continues to evolve, Instagram’s new foray into a multi-advertiser layout underscores its commitment to both users and advertisers. The seemingly delicate balance of user experience vs. advertising has been tipped towards the latter in Instagram’s new release, with hopes of creating a more engaging advertising environment. Whether this update will be a game-changer as Instagram anticipates or a step too far remains to be seen. But, what’s for sure is that Instagram’s new advertising approach has redefined the boundaries of social media marketing, for better or worse.
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