Instagram announces new ad options, publishes app tips for business

Posted by Rebecca Appleton on 14 Mar, 2017
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Since unveiling its new look Instagram for Business blog at the beginning of this month, the social network has been sharing news and updates thick and fast.


Its most recent posts include new advertising opportunities within stories, inspiration for time lapse videos and how to use Boomerang.

With more than 600 million users globally now having an Instagram account, and a record 100 million users registering between June and December 2016, the platform is one of the most popular social networks in the world and a key component of many a marketing strategy.

If your business is one of those using Instagram, the site’s latest updates provide some interesting direction on how to make the most of its tools and functions. Here, we’ve rounded up all the most useful bits for business users into this one handy post.

Stories adverts function rolled out globally

Instagram made waves in September last year when it announced the launch of Instagram Stories – a feature similar to Snapchat’s video and photo sharing format. Many brands were quick to try the stories function, with brands including Mercedes-Benz, J.Crew, Taco Bell and Starbucks all jumping on board less than two weeks after the option launched.

This month, Instagram confirmed that it has made advertising in stories available to business users globally, following a successful trial with 30+ brands handpicked by the platform. Instagram describes its stories adverts as immersive and full screen, with targeting, reach and measurement capabilities.

Adverts run in stories can be optimized for reach, which means that your ad will be shown to the maximum number of people within your audience. As an advertiser, you can also control how often that audience sees your advert. The new stories ads are managed from the Facebook Ads Manager interface, as with other Instagram advertising campaigns.

The Instagram announcement mentions Airbnb as one of its trial advertisers, with the accommodation provider reporting a noticeable lift in advert recall. If you’re new to advertising on Instagram and interested in trialing the platform’s paid reach with its new stories ads feature, read our step-by-step guide to setting up an advertising account here.

Tips on how to Hyperlapse

The Hyperlapse app from Instagram is a clever little app that helps users turn their original shaky footage into a smooth time lapse video. In one of its most recent posts filed under tips, the network has giving a few pointers on how to use the app to improve business content and turn mediocre raw video footage into a polished time lapse post.

The post includes a few useful bullet points for anyone new to creating video for Instagram or to using the app including:

  • Plan what you want to shoot before you start filming
  • Choose the speed of timelapse, from 1x faster up to 12x faster
  • Tap the screen with four fingers to load the app menu, unlocking controls to resolution, frame rate and faster speeds of up to 40 x timelapse
  • Share the post, either directly from the app or from a Facebook or Instagram account to maximize exposure

The Instagram team have also provided plenty of ideas for those stuck for inspiration when it comes to creating an Insta-worthy timelapse video, making it that little bit less challenging to get more from the app. Ideas include:

  • Behind the scenes of your business as you create or go about your daily work
  • Relatable, shareable product or service in action shoots
  • Unexpected perspectives, for example of a surprising way to use your product or service

The Hyperlapse app can be downloaded for iOS and Android.

Building a Boomerang

If you haven’t yet heard of Boomerang, chances are you have seen the results of its work in your feed. Another app from Instagram, a Boomerang is a mini video that loops back and forth to make everyday moments and actions more fun and engaging.

In one of its latest advice posts, the social network has shared some of its own top tips to use Boomerang to create more visually engaging business content. Its recommendations include:

●Using filters, trimming the clip and carefully selecting the frames to make content pop

●Being careful to produce steady footage to add a professional polish and

●Using the advanced menu feature to unlock more options such as adjusting frame count and frame rate and how the Boomerang repeats.

Instagram also gives a series of suggestions for putting Boomerang into motion – ideal if you haven’t used the app before or are struggling to see how it can translate into creating content for your own feed. Ideas include product shots, behind the scenes sneak peaks and sharing unexpected ways your customers use your products or services.

Boomerang can be downloaded for iOS and Android.

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