Instagram is tapping into both storytelling and shoppable content trends with the launch of new carousel Stories, which will allow brands to include up to three videos or images in a single ad unit rather than the one they are limited to currently.
Organic Stories published by brands on Instagram have proven to be a huge hit with audiences, and the ability to include several creative clips or photos stitched together will empower marketers to tell better stories and direct viewers to ecommerce sites via swipes and other interactions.
For example, a clothing brand could now start with a short clip of a model or celebrity wearing a new jacket, follow it up with an image of the garment and then include a clickable link in the final piece of content.
This new functionality delivers a more organic experience and is a better tool for pushing consumers along the sales cycle, rather than having them watch just a single second video or photo, which is the current extent of Stories on Instagram.
The social site is already testing the format with twelve brands, including Netflix and Paramount, and a wider release is expected in the near future under the new name of “carousel ads for Instagram Stories”.
Instagram could eventually increase the three photo or video limit depending on the success of expanded ads this year. Brands will also be able to access analytics for the format, with swipe up counts, views and impressions among the key metrics available.