Instagram Tries Content Curation And Opens Self-Serve Access To Carousel Ads

What Happened
Taking a page out of Snapchat’s playbook, Instagram tested a Live Stories-like video content curation on Saturday, highlighting some of the best Halloween posts across its platform. Shown as a banner atop of its mobile app, U.S. users can click the prompt to see a curated video stream, stripped of the captions, likes, and comments that usually come with Instagram posts. Instagram has confirmed that this is “just the start” for this kind of event-specific UGC curation.

In related news, the photo-sharing network is also opening up access to its well-received Carousel Ads to more brands. Starting in the next few weeks, the multi-image ad unit will be available for all brands via Facebook’s self-service ad dashboards. First launched in March, Carousel Ads were the first Instagram ads that included clickable links that can direct users to destination sites outside the app.

What Brands Need To Do
According to Instagram, Carousel Ads on average drive an additional 2.5-point lift in ad recall. In particular, Ben & Jerry’s reported a 33-point increase in ad recall with Instagram ads. Offering its hottest new ad product via a self-serve interface should certainly attract more brands to try it out. Moreover, the new event-specific content curation holds great potential in becoming Instagram’s own Live Stories or Moments, potentially providing brands a new channel to surface branded content with sponsored posts or streams.


Source: Re/Code & Marketing Land

Upworthy Announces Plans For ‘Sponsored Curation’

Branded content and native ads are nothing new, but Upworthy’s announcement of sponsored curation presents an interesting opportunity for cause marketing and social responsibility initiatives. The viral content network is planning Upworthy Collaborations which let brands deliver promoted posts, sponsored content curation around key themes and content consultation.  Their first collaboration has been Unilever’s Project Sunlight which has curated a section of articles around sustainability efforts. There will certainly be plenty of eager brands looking for these custom opportunities but how will Upworthy revenue compare with a traditional display model?

A Look At Mastercard’s Newsroom

Newsrooms are a new occurrence in the agency world as brands are becoming full-fledged publishers, adding original content to their own properties opposed to pushing out the same asset across a network. For brands with a PR focus or engaging lifestyle content, the newsroom or branded site makes a lot of sense. Mastercard is a perfect example, as they manage two web properties where they push out 5-6 articles a day in addition to curating on-brand content throughout the web. All these efforts are aimed at shifting consumer perception away from MasterCard as a credit card company to view them as a technology partner. So far, they have had 135,000 people engage with their posts, generating 500,000 conversations and shares.