If a picture is worth 1,000 words, a 15-second video has to be worth quite a bit more.Instagram has launched its first video ads, adding another entry into the lucrative but increasingly crowded market.Disney, Activision and Banana Republic are among the first companies to have autoplay videos featured on the Facebook-owned platform, according to Adweek.Brands have already been producing videos on Instagram that are seen only by those who follow their corporate accounts. Now, Instagram is pushing ads into feeds.Instagram added video in June 2013 and has been very deliberate about using that tool for advertising. CEO Kevin Systrom said in July that he had personally been reviewing every ad in hopes of setting a “high bar” for marketing on the service.Adweek noted that the video ads put on Instagram have been highly scrutinized to ensure “they contain mostly fresh content the video ads put on Instagram have been highly scrutinized to ensure “they contain mostly fresh content, fit the vibe of the platform and are not simply repurposed TV/Web commercials.”Instagram’s caution in putting ads into the feeds of its users is understandable, but online video is a booming market that is also becoming more competitive. Online video ads draw a premium price compared to traditional display marketing, and have been shown to be particularly effective.Tumblr launched its video ads on Tuesday; Twitter is developing promoted video; Facebook’s video ads are on the way. Even non-video companies like Spotify are getting in on the action.
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