Going Exploring: Instagram’s New Paid Feature

Liam Hall • 11th Jul 2019

If you’re anything like us as an Instagram user, you’re probably finding yourself spending less time on your main feed and more on the Explore page. 

If you don’t know what we’re on about, it’s that grid style page that appears when you tap the magnifying glass icon at the bottom of the screen, full of algorithmically curated content that Instagram thinks you’ll probably be into. The concept is pretty simple really – if you spend a lot of time interacting with foodie pages, best believe your Explore page is going to feature some sweet eats and maybe some other lip-smacking content that’s somehow related.

Designed to help users find relevant accounts that they might not follow, this part of Instagram has been essentially ad free until now. With around half of Instagram’s daily audience using this part of the app, the Facebook-owned company are following those eyeballs and opening it up as a brand new territory for brands and advertisers. There’s no official figures on just how many people browse the app daily, but we do know that monthly it’s around the billion mark. Basically, it all adds up to being one hell of a guestlist for potential advertisers to reach.

By introducing features such as Stories and Instagram TV, it seems that there’s a strategy behind encouraging users attention away from their news feeds (and making them less likely to see promoted posts in their news feeds). In a blog post announcing this new opportunity the company stated: “This is an opportunity to be part of what’s culturally relevant and trending while reaching new audiences who are looking to discover something new.” 

Essentially, it’s a way for brands to get in on this simple, yet clever feature that’s accounting for more and more time spent on the app. With around 80% of users already following a company on Instagram, it has the potential for being a powerful new tool to help connect people who are already in a ‘browse mindset’ with products. It’s an exciting development that’s already got us planning on how to put it to good use for our clients!

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