Today Instagram announced sweeping changes to its 18-month old advertising scheme in an effort to monetize all those loyal sets of eyeballs. The company is essentially opening its platform to advertisers big and small, rather than the "select" partners it's been pairing with during the past year and a half long pilot project. The plan is to push ads in more formats that are targeted towards people with relevant interests. All that means is that as it rolls out, the next Sponsored post you see is probably based on what IG (and its owner Facebook) think you like.Specifically, "direct response" ads will now integrate action buttons that will prompt viewers to click through and buy, subscribe, or install whatever the ad is hawking. Instagram hinted at this feature back in March but made it official today. On the back end, Instagram is granting advertisers more granular data on users than the standard age, gender and location metrics they previously had access to. It's using demographics and interests, plus the data businesses have about their customers.
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