Get ready to start seeing ads in Instagram Reels. The app’s video feed / TikTok clone will start including ads today across the globe. They’ll look just like any other Reel — full-screen, looping, up to 30 seconds long — and will appear in between other clips. Ads will be identified by a small “sponsored” tag below the name of the advertiser’s account.
Instagram started testing ads in Australia, Brazil, Germany, and India in April. There’s nothing particularly surprising about more ads making their way into the app, other than the pace with which Instagram has moved to turn this new format into a revenue generator. Facebook also said this week that it would bring ads to Oculus Quest apps.
Reels only launched in August 2020, and the company has yet to share specifics on how the new format has actually been performing. In January, Instagram leader Adam Mosseri told The Verge that the format is growing but that the company is “not yet happy with it.” The feature is currently available in “more than 80 countries,” an Instagram spokesperson said.
Meanwhile, TikTok has such a huge audience and its ads have been so successful that the company plans to charge up to $2 million for a one-day takeover, according to Bloomberg. But while TikTok’s influence continues to grow (and its legal threat continues to be postponed), Instagram still retains the huge advantages of having Facebook’s support behind it and being able to tap into an already massive app.