Instagram, Twitter to Expand Video Advertising Opportunities

Ryan Laffler, Account Manager

Instagram and Twitter are finally beginning to embrace video advertising. What’s the big deal? Video ads cost more on average to make than banner ads, and they also take more time for a viewer to digest. Are they even worth it?


A 2014 study by Millennial Media showed that engagement on video was 5x that of standard banners on average. That’s a lot of eyes. Banner advertisements have been around for decades, and even though they still do their job, they are beginning to be overshadowed by new forms of advertising such video and native advertising. Social media platforms like Facebook and YouTube recognized this early on and have been reaping the revenue benefits for a few years now.

Last March, Instagram introduced a new service called Carousel that allows advertisers to share multiple display ads in a slideshow-type format. This gives users the ability to swipe left or right on a slideshow, allowing advertisers to, “share stories through imagery”, as Instagram states on their website. Now, Instagram wants to add video advertising to the Carousel platform, giving brands the chance to upload multiple videos into the same slideshow.

instagram carousel

Carousel on Instagram

This is a smart move for Instagram, a company whose ad business is still relatively young. Video advertising gives brands expanded creative flexibility. That plus Carousel makes Instagram a very attractive medium for advertisers and brands alike. As with most new advertising mediums, their effectiveness spikes initially and then fades over time. In other words, now is the best time to begin utilizing this new feature.

Twitter is another social platform moving in this direction, albeit slowly. Twitter launched video ads last year that, like Facebook, start rolling while muted as users scroll through their timelines. The slow start for Twitter has been attributed to their weak targeting and reporting tools – issues that Twitter said they will update later this year. These are crucial fixes for Twitter, a company that’s seen its revenue decline dramatically over the past year. According to eMarketer, digital video ad spending in the U.S. is expected to grow 28.5% this year to $9.84 billion. If Twitter is going to compete in the years to come, they better hurry up and find a way to distinguish themselves as a leader in video advertising.

To find out how your business can leverage digital video advertising across all social media platforms, give us a call at (828)259-9910 x111 or email Ryan Laffler at


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