Instagram unveils two new advertising channels

Instagram is adding ads to search results and has a new Reminder Ads feature, but it risks oversaturating an already ad-filled product.

Instagram unveiled two new advertising channels this week. One, which it calls Reminder Ads, is available now, and the other, ads in search results, is expected to launch in the coming months.


What are they. Reminder Ads is designed to “help advertisers build awareness, anticipation, and consideration for upcoming moments.” Consumers who opt in will get three reminders about a marketing event: One day before, 15 minutes before and at the time it happens. The Meta-owned company says this comes after a successful test run in partnership with the cable network Starz. 

Instagram unveils two new advertising channels

Reminder Ads image via Instagram

Now in search. Instagram is currently testing putting ads in search results “to reach people actively searching for businesses, products and content.” It is likely these ads will be highlighted in a way that differentiates them from the marketing content which currently appears in search results.

Why we care. Meta is floundering fiscally, but more ads on Instagram may be counterproductive. The company is facing a weak ad market and pressure from TikTok. On the plus side, Instagram is still providing marketers with the best ROI – more than twice that of TikTok. However, TikTok’s average revenue per user was $ 46.86 last year, seven times more than Instagram. Also, TikTok’s users spend an average of 89 minutes a day on the site, three times that of Instagram users.

Finally, there is the very real risk of oversaturation. Remember MySpace? It was doing great until News Corp. bought it in 2006 and put ads everywhere. Instagram already has ads on the Explore page, Explore feeds, Reels, Stories, user profiles and plenty more when you open its app. Let’s hope more ad inventory doesn’t mean less ad viewers.


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About the author

Constantine von Hoffman is managing editor of MarTech. A veteran journalist, Con has covered business, finance, marketing and tech for, Brandweek, CMO, and Inc. He has been city editor of the Boston Herald, news producer at NPR, and has written for Harvard Business Review, Boston Magazine, Sierra, and many other publications. He has also been a professional stand-up comedian, given talks at anime and gaming conventions on everything from My Neighbor Totoro to the history of dice and boardgames, and is author of the magical realist novel John Henry the Revelator. He lives in Boston with his wife, Jennifer, and either too many or too few dogs.