Last month, Instagram made the announcement we’ve all been waiting for–and when I say we, I mean advertisers. It was also in August that the photo-sharing platform officially switched on its API, allowing advertisers to use third party platforms for campaigns on their own. Previously, Instagram only allowed advertising to a select group of brands, all of which had to work directly with the Facebook’s network.
And now comes the latest from the Instagram news room: photos in portrait and landscape orientation. Not only does this change mean more room for your friends in a group selfie, but it’s a pretty big deal for marketers.
Marketers and brands like to tell a story, and sometimes that story isn’t conducive to a square format. Now Instagram has made it easy to post a picture of the entire New York City skyline, or the Eiffel Tower from top to bottom. What’s also exciting about this apprise is what it means for video; as online video advertising continues to rise, social networks need to keep up with and adapt to the demand of the market, and Instagram has done just that. According to Laundry Service CEO Jason Stein, “Vertical video–whether traditional filmmakers like it or not–is how people create and consume content on their phone. It’s already a large percentage of all mobile video being consumed. Now with Instagram embracing it, that’s only going to go up and up” (Ad Age). Snapchat’s CEO Evan Spiegel also has a pretty strong opinion on vertical video himself. Earlier this summer the platform released a new advertising approach called “3V: vertical video views.”
While this is another step in the evolution of Instagram, we hope this doesn’t alter the authentic and inspiring nature of the platform. Marketers still need to remember that Instagram is a highly visual network, and they should adapt their content strategy to reflect that. It’s crucial to understand the network and the best way to reach your target market among the 300 million active users. Brands will still need to tell their story and deliver meaningful messages to their fans, regardless of their photo’s orientation.