The idea behind Instagram is images, nothing but images. However, like any popular social media platform, Instagram needed to start generating revenue and chose to do so through advertising.
Prior to October of 2013, a user’s Instagram feed was only comprised of images posted by people they follow. They wanted people to browse photos freely without needing the web. When ads started making their way into user feeds, Instagram stood by their “images only” policy and did not permit any of the ads to be clickable. Image ads paved the way for short video ads, and now due to demand from its advertisers who “needed more vivid ways to influence people who lead to meaningful results for their business,” Instagram is allowing clickable links for the first time.
The clickable links will only be featured in the new photo carousel ads, Instagram’s new ad format that features 4 product images from the advertiser and requires users to swipe side to side in order to view the 4 images. The clickable links will only appear after the fourth image is viewed within the carousel and will be shown as a “Learn More” button.