Meta's quarterly revenue dipped for the first time ever in the second quarter. It's looking to make those numbers go back up and keep smiles on investors' faces. One of the strategies it's employing to do that is by attempting to squeeze more money out of Instagram. As such, it will shove ads into more areas of the app, namely the Explore feed as well as the feed of posts from a user's profile.
Brands can now place ads in the Explore feed, but profile feed ads are still in the testing phase. The company will also offer some creators the chance to earn a cut of revenue from ads that are displayed in their profile feeds.
Meta announced a slew of other updates for its advertising products. Some of those will impact Instagram. For one thing, the company will try out augmented reality ads in both the feed and Stories. Meta suggests that brands might use these to let people test virtual furniture in their home or get a closer look at a car.
In addition, the company is experimenting with new formats for ads in Facebook and Instagram Reels. These include a "post-loop" format — skippable ads lasting between four and 10 seconds that play after a reel. After the ad finishes, the reel will play again. The company is also testing image carousel ads, which you may start to see at the bottom of Facebook Reels starting today. In addition, brands will have access to a free library of music to use in Reels ads.
As for how many ads you'll actually see, that may be different for each person. You may or may not see more of them, but they'll at least pop up in places where they weren't present before. "The number of ads across the platform varies based on how people use Instagram," an Instagram spokesperson told Engadget. "We closely monitor people’s sentiment — both for ads and overall commerciality."
It doesn't seem that Meta is considering the sentiment that some people don't want to see ads at all. The company swiftly took action against an unofficial, ad-free Instagram client that popped up last week.
Update, 5PM ET: This post originally stated that ads would appear in a profile's grid view. They don't show up there, but they can appear in the profile feed.