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Instagram Launches 30-Second Video Ads

Fox's 'Scream Queens' first to buy wide-scale ad campaign on Facebook-owned service

Facebook’s Instagram has finally flipped the switch to make ads on the service — including video spots up to 30 seconds — available to marketers on a wide scale, with Fox’s “Scream Queens” among the first to buy a big flight.

In addition to the U.S. and other big markets, advertisers can now buy ads on Instagram in more than 30 new countries, including Italy, Spain, Mexico, India and South Korea, the company announced in a blog post Wednesday. Instagram, which says it has 300 million users, plans to launch self-service ad buying in additional markets around the world Sept. 30.

Facebook acquired Instagram in 2012 for $1 billion, and the social giant has taken its time in selling advertising for the photo-centric microblogging service for fear of turning off users. In 2013, Instagram launched the ability to edit and upload 15-second videos and video ads were previously limited to that length.

Fox is the first to use Instagram’s new “Marquee” ad product for horror series “Scream Queens.” Marquee is designed to “drive mass awareness” in a short time-frame by pushing the promos in front of a large number of users, according to Instagram. “Scream Queens,” slated to premiere Sept. 22, stars Emma Roberts, Ariana Grande, Billie Lourd and Abigail Breslin. (See the Instagram ad, below.)

Others that have tested out Instagram ads include game developer Kabam, which used it to promote “Marvel Contest of Champions”; according to Instagram, those users stayed in the free-to-play mobile game longer and purchased more than average. According to Instagram, 97% of ad campaigns it has measured on the service generated significant increases in ad recall (though it didn’t quantify how significant the lift can be).

In addition to video ads up to 30 seconds, Instagram also introduced landscape (horizontal) photo and video ads for “a more cinematic feel” and delivery and optimization tools to manage campaigns across Facebook and Instagram.

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