Instagram will now let new Instagram advertisers run ads without having to link to a Facebook page or use the Business Manager. However, only Instagram business accounts that have never promoted any posts prior will be able to use this new Instagram feature. Indeed, current advertisers have already linked their Facebook page and may not be able to unlink it.
This new feature has been rolled out at the end of June but is currently only available to users in the US and in Turkey. The number of territories is at present limited. However, we can expect this new feature to be available worldwide rather soon.
What does it change for Instagram advertisers?
“You can now create Instagram ads without having a presence on Facebook. If you are promoting a post from your Instagram business account for the first time, you won’t have to connect to a Facebook ad account or Facebook Page.” – Instagram Ads Help Page
New Instagram advertisers can create and manage ads directly through Instagram. They don’t need to use the ad manager or a Facebook page. Of course, every Instagram business still needs a Facebook page associated with their profile. Therefore, when switching to a business account, a token Facebook page is created in association. Yet, there will be no need to make it public nor manage it.
To promote their business on Instagram, new Instagram advertisers will have to:
- Go to their profile.
- Pick the post they want to promote.
- Tap “promote” or “create ad” below the post.
- Select the “destination”, i.e. where the ad should send users: your profile, your website, your direct messages.
- Define your audience, i.e. who you want to reach. You can “create your own”. Choose locations, interests, gender and age bracket or let Instagram target people similar to who is already following you.
- Decide on the daily budget and duration of the ad. The app will also give you an estimated reach.
- You can then review your promotion to ensure all the details are right and then tap “create promotion”
Creating ads directly through Instagram will allow advertisers to boost posts that may already have a high reach and therefore increase it even more. The reviewing process remains similar to creating ads via the ad manager. Facebook’s advertising policies are still in effect, even on Instagram.
When you advertise for the first time, you can either enter your payment details in your business settings or upon creating your very first ad. You can use your credit card and paypal account.
What does that mean for Instagram?
This new feature for Instagram advertisers seems like a big change of direction. Indeed, Facebook has been spending years working to ensure business Instagram and Facebook accounts are linked. Thus any promotions are run through a centralized platform. Even users boosting posts on Instagram would still have their account linked to their Facebook page.
This announcement seems contrary to everything they have been working for until now. So, why this change of direction?
One can always wonder whether recent criticism of Facebook over its stance on politics and questionable content might be one reason behind this shift. As more and more major advertisers are boycotting Facebook, the timing can indeed not be ignored.
A lot of Facebook’s biggest advertising have pulled out from the social platform. However, they still did not stop advertising on Instagram immediately. For example, The North Face has joined the #StopHateForProfit campaign, stopped Facebook ads but still ran ads on Instagram until recently. Therefore, one may ask the question as per whether this move would allow to separate Instagram ad dollars to Facebook’s.
This highlights a potential reason for the move. Instagram would not have to suffer from the backlash regarding Facebook’s decision to not hide questionable content. However, Instagram said that this new Instagram feature had been in development for months.
Why this new feature then?
Since Facebook spent so much time integrating both platforms together, it does raise the question. After all, there are big benefits for Facebook in establishing such links. These include improved data tracking, target benefits, integrated functionality, placing one ad in multiple locations, etc.
The most likely reason is that Facebook is looking to ensure that it can maximize ad dollars by removing the Facebook page connection as a requirement. Some smaller accounts, freelancer, entrepreneurs and other small brands mostly relying on Instagram for advertisement. They may not have been too keen on going through the hassle of setting up a Facebook page.
This new feature remains now only available to new Instagram advertisers and only in the US and Turkey. Current advertisers will have already linked their Facebook page to their Instagram business and will not be able to reverse that decision.