Instagram Launches 60 Second Video Ads

February 16, 2016
Anthony Haid

Last week, Instagram announced that they will now be offering a 60-second video ad unit. Much of the conversation has been around the seemingly counter-intuitive experience Instagram is trying to place on their short attention span user. For those that don’t use Instagram, it’s a highly visual tool, mainly focused around photos and short 15 second videos. Advertising on Instagram is still relatively new and advertisers are still treading lightly given their lack of knowledge and analytics around Instagram ads. Video is not entirely new to Instagram, as shorter form :15’s, and :30’s ads have been available to advertisers for some time.

instagram-photoInstagram users are known for their quick interactions and short attention spans. Today’s mobile users consume information and content faster than ever, so everyone is wondering how will 60 second ads affect the experience on Instagram and will users engage with an advertisement that is twice as long as they currently see?

The short answer, yes and no. Advertisers need to be asking themselves one simple question when creating video ads for Instagram (and all social media content); “Will our target audience want to watch this?”. If the answer is “Yes”, your target audience is likely to tune into the advertisement’s content, if the answer is “No” then your target audience is likely to keep scrolling. There is nothing forcing users to consume content and ads on Instagram. People go on Instagram to look at things they are interested in, so advertisers need to create and place ads in front of the right audience.

Instagram video ads will only charge advertisers when a user watches a minimum of 10 seconds, the same way its parent company, Facebook does. Instagram also recently announced that they will begin to display video views, this will give advertisers a new way to benchmark the success of their videos.

The thing most advertisers need to keep in mind with Instagram’s new ad unit, and with all social content, is to not do more than you can and to focus on the type of content you can create well. Just because there is a new video ad length doesn’t mean you have to use it. Create the best possible content you can; if 60-second videos fall in the category, great!