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Instagram is working to empower brands to tell detailed stories, using improved Instagram Story Ads.

Instagram is revealing an adaptation of its Story ads that can incorporate three back to back photos or videos rather than the standard one, the Facebook-claimed photo and video app reported on Thursday.

Instagram is trying the new format with 12 brands, including Paramount, Coca-Cola, California Pizza Kitchen, and Netflix. Additionally, companies purchasing ads through the Facebook Marketing Partners program will be able to test out the new “carousel ads for Instagram Stories” format. According to Susan Rose, Instagram’s Director of Product Marketing, there is currently no timeline for when it will be released to other advertisers.

With three times the amount of posts in Story Ads, brands will be able to think outside the box and expand their creativity. Since Instagram introduced Story Ads last year, people have only been able to utilize one 15-second video for their ad. This change will greatly enhance ad content and give brands new ways to experiment.

Companies can now use a variety of combinations within their ad – 3 photos or videos back to back, a photo followed by a video and then with another photo with a link to their website, etc. The possibilities of combinations will allow brands to get extremely granular with A/B testing and even copy popular formats that non-advertisers have been using.

What’s the point of the change?

Well, according to Rose, it’s to make the ads feel natural. “The goal is really to create ad formats that feel as native as possible to Instagram.” And with that said, the Story video ads can only be 15 seconds long each, while photos can only remain on screen for no longer than 5 seconds. Viewers will also be able to swipe through ads to skip them, just as they always have, or pause and swipe backward if they want.

Depending on how brands utilize the ads and how people respond to them, Instagram may increase that number in the future.

The advertiser will be able to see how many views and swipe-up counts each post had, but impressions will only count once for the entirety of the ad and not for each individual post.

To see an example ad, check out this post on the Instagram blog.

Brennan Flentge

Brennan Flentge

Since 2010, Brennan has utilized his creative intuition to provide branding and marketing services for friends, family, and clients. From graphic design and web development to advertising and SEO, Brennan has slowly built a powerful skill set and regularly shares his knowledge with others. Read more about all things marketing, entrepreneurship, startups and tech (and maybe a little bit about video games, too) at

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