Double Tap for Instagram Carousel Ads

Gavin Guidry, digital intern at Jackson Spalding, is ever-curious when it comes to the social sphere. After the announcement of Instagram’s multi-photo carousel ads one month ago, Gavin takes initiative by expounding on the new feature, and how it will impact JS and our client relationships. 


Instagram took a big step forward in marketing for brands as it announced that it would begin displaying clickable links in sponsored ads. This is the first time that the image-sharing platform has allowed users to send consumers directly to their sites from an ad. Previously the only way to send users to an external URL was through a link in the profile page.

How it Works

The clickable links live as a feature within the new multi-photo carousel ads appearing in the home feed. This carousel is a sequence of four branded images users can view by swiping left, giving brands the ability to showcase multiple items. The “Learn More” button within this sequence will take users to a URL within Instagram that has more information about the campaign or product. From here, users can click the brand’s call-to-action, or easily return to their feed.

How it Impacts Instagram

The integration of clickable links changes the dynamic of advertising for brands on Instagram by shifting it from a platform for brands to build awareness and showcase products into a tool to generate inbound traffic for their websites. With the opportunity for immediate sales, advertising on Instagram will make sense for a wider range of companies, allowing for more ad revenue. This move also allows users to have a deeper interaction with brands through the photo carousel.

How it Impacts Brands

Since Instagram introduced ads in October 2013, advertisers have been pushing for a way to measure their impact. The ability to see if users swipe through multiple photos or clicked through to their site gives companies a better sense of their return on investment. The photo carousel sequence allows brands to use images to tell a more cohesive story such as communicating more about their brand story or showing off features of a new product.

How has your brand been using Instagram? Have you dabbled in carousel ads yet? Would love to hear about your experience!