Instagram tests Facebook’s shoppable Collection ads

Instagram is looking to step up its status as a digital showroom for retailers.

The Facebook-owned photo-and-video app has begun a test to run a version of Facebook’s shoppable Collection ads within its main feed.

The ad format seeks to digitize the print product catalog by enabling a brand to highlight its wares with an eye-catching video above a swipeable carousel showcasing individual products. People can then tap on the products to visit the brand’s site and buy them.

For now, Instagram is only trying out the format with a limited number of advertisers, but the company plans to open it up to more advertisers in a number of months, according to an Instagram spokesperson.

Instagram has made some tweaks to Facebook’s original version of the Collection format, which was introduced in March 2017. The product carousel appearing below the ad’s main creative element can only contain three product photos on Instagram, as opposed to four on Facebook. Also, while on Facebook, tapping on an individual product opens a product catalog that prioritizes that specific product, on Instagram, tapping on any of the product photos will open the same catalog. From that catalog, people will then be able to click on a product to see it on the brand’s site.

About The Author

Tim Peterson
Tim Peterson, Third Door Media's Social Media Reporter, has been covering the digital marketing industry since 2011. He has reported for Advertising Age, Adweek and Direct Marketing News. A born-and-raised Angeleno who graduated from New York University, he currently lives in Los Angeles. He has broken stories on Snapchat's ad plans, Hulu founding CEO Jason Kilar's attempt to take on YouTube and the assemblage of Amazon's ad-tech stack; analyzed YouTube's programming strategy, Facebook's ad-tech ambitions and ad blocking's rise; and documented digital video's biggest annual event VidCon, BuzzFeed's branded video production process and Snapchat Discover's ad load six months after launch. He has also developed tools to monitor brands' early adoption of live-streaming apps, compare Yahoo's and Google's search designs and examine the NFL's YouTube and Facebook video strategies.