With the arrival of a new business head at Instagram, we can finally expect them to introduce advertising on to the platform. It's a big step, and a big step beyond their current business approach, but what the ad executions end up actually *looking like* is up for grabs. Will they feel like the in-stream Tumblr executions? Have hokey calls to action like FB newsfeed units? Who know?!
There's a lot to be said for the possibility of this unit, but there's a real chance for Instagram to help define a new standard. Amidst all the chatter and speculation though, this passage from Saya Weissman's Digiday piece caught my attention:
Also at issue is the ability to drive clicks. As Drew Neisser, CEO of social agency Renegade, pointed out, as of now you can’t include hyperlinks in any copy that goes with Instagram photos or videos.
“Without a means of driving clicks somewhere, Instagram will only be able to sell impressions – and cheap ones at that,” said Neisser.
What if, instead of trying to reinvent digital advertising (native! stream! audience!) we just removed the click through? It's kind of scary and fantastic at the same time! It would really boil down to the creative work itself, how the audience engages with the narrative and messaging, and would help create a greater divide between branding and performance campaigns. Granted, we've been talking about this for almost 13 years, but if IG went ahead and just ignored CTR altogether, that'd start a very interesting conversation.