Faced with a general decline in managed platforms, Meta is resorting to increasingly desperate measures to increase its revenue, with the company announcing to advertising partners the introduction of two new ad slots on Instagram.
Increasingly resembling the struggles of the last publications still distributing print newspapers at a time when the rest of the world had already moved online, Meta is trying to make the most of platforms already in decline, even at the risk of hastening the exodus of users increasingly dissatisfied with their experience.
Amid news like the availability of a new music catalog for advertisers and a new ad format for Facebook Reels, the company announced that it will now allow ads to be displayed on the Explore homepage and in Instagram profile feeds.
Instagram also says that as part of this test, it will allow Instagram creators to earn additional revenue from ads displayed in their profile feeds.
Meanwhile, Instagram Reels has already been displaying ads of up to 30 seconds, interspersed with the not-very-long videos anyway. Meanwhile, Meta has announced Reel Ads on Facebook, a new format of short ads for the Facebook Reels section.
Called “post-loop” ads, these are 4-10 second clips shown with a Skip option, followed by longer video ads shown after the clip viewed on Facebook Reels has come to an end. At the end of the ad, the Reel in the foreground will continue playing in loop mode. The strategy chosen by Meta is based on the idea that many of the short clips distributed on Reels are designed to be watched in loop mode, theoretically allowing two types of ads to be used. But in practice, users so hooked might choose to forgo looped viewing, skipping straight to the next clip to “skip” the ad display. By repeating this experience too many times, frustrated users might simply decide to switch to a slightly more welcoming content platform, such as TikTok.
Also in its presentation to advertising partners, Meta also said it would test ads taking the form of an “image carousel.” Displayed at the bottom of the Facebook Reels tab, ads of this type will be able to contain up to 10 horizontally scrollable images.