The move will allow brands to reach the 300 million users that actively use the photo-sharing app each month, 14 million of which are in the UK.
This number has doubled in the last two years according to the brand.
Speaking at Instagram’s headquarters in London today (13 July), Amy Cole, head of brand development for EMEA at Instagram, said: “As we build products and features, we’ll start to implement all of the targeting options that are available on Facebook.
“We’re starting to see advertisers using both platforms and we’re seeing success in campaigns that use both,” she added.
Brands that use both platforms for a campaign are targeting two different audiences according to the brand, with users visiting Facebook and Instagram for different reasons.
“Facebook is more about personal relevance, while people come to Instagram to be inspired and follow people they don’t know,” Cole said.
New targeting features will be the latest in a line of moves to improve the app’s advertising capability.
Since launching Instagram ads in the US a year and a half ago, the platform has seen almost 500 global advertising campaigns.
In May Instagram launched carousel ads, which allow users to swipe right to see up to three images from a brand on a single post.
This allows the likes of fashion brands to show different angles, ways to wear an item or a full product line, according to Cole.
The feature also includes an option for brands to link off-site, allowing users to buy what they see for the first time.
“We’re taking people from a moment to a product experience,” she said, adding that while the feature is currently only available to brands, Instagram is thinking about rolling it out to other users.
The brand has seen “incredible success” in its advertising so far according to Cole, with 97% of campaigns generating a “significant uplift” in ad recall and an average 16 point lift.
Cadbury’s “Free The Joy” Instagram campaign resulted in a 20 point lift in ad recall, claimed Cole, while a campaign by Turkish Airlines saw a 28 point lift.
Creating ‘well-crafted’ campaigns
In order to be successful on Instagram, Al Cotterill, creative strategist for Instagram’s Creative Shop, said brands need to focus on the platform’s principles of simplicity, creativity and community by having a unique point of view, being concept-driven and creating campaigns that are “well-crafted”.
“Everything should ladder up to a unique point of view,” he added. “People expect things to be beautiful, stylish and creative.”
In a study conducted for Instagram by research agency Sparkler in May, compared to four other social networks respondents said that Instagram was “the most inspiring and beautiful social network for brands to share creative campaigns”.
Over a fifth of the 5,000 people surveyed across the UK, France and Germany also said they view the platform as “the art gallery of the future”, with a quarter agreeing that the platform “helps them discover things they’d otherwise never consider”.
In order to maintain this standard of creativity, Instagram’s Creative Shop is working with brands and agencies to help them understand how to best use the platform.
After working with Instagram over the past few months to figure out how to join the app “in the right way”, Barclays is launching a campaign today (13 July) using the carousel format to show stories of entrepreneurs across the UK.
However, Cotterrill added that some brands come with ideas ready for the platform, citing Burberry as an example.
He said the brand has “created stories” around British weather, its trench coats and its fashion shows in a manner “cohesive with the way communities are already engaging with Instagram”.