You know how sometimes, after you've browsed an e-commerce site, the products you looked at (but didn't purchase) will start following you around the Internet, popping up in the sidebars of sites you visit as well as your Facebook feed — a whole gallery of them, in some instances? Well as of yesterday, Facebook has given businesses the option of placing those products in your Instagram feed, too.
In addition to a fun new logo and sleek, updated design, Instagram is introducing dynamic ads to the app, giving advertisers a more customizable way to target consumers. The ads can involve either a single image with a link in the caption (a capability only afforded to advertisers) or a multiproduct carousel ad. Advertisers also have a few options when it comes to what products users see: it could either be the exact pair of shoes you just looked at, or items similar to, or in the same category as, ones you were browsing.
It's an experience that can be a little frustrating, particularly for fashion editors (like us) who may have just been browsing products for a market story rather than for personal use. Granted, Facebook and Instagram advertisers have a lot more people to think about. But we imagine that, even for the everyday consumer, potentially seeing a product they have no intention of purchasing on their more frequently checked social platforms could get a little irritating.
It marks another step towards making Instagram, which obviously lends itself well to displaying product, more shoppable; although brands and retailers who choose not to spend marketing dollars on the platform will still have to find work-arounds via third-party apps — and those keep launching every day.
It will be interesting to see how this all plays out when Instagram, fully makes the switch from a chronological feed to one based on algorithms (which it's already testing with some users). At that point, brands may have even more incentive to buy ads like these.