Meta is introducing two new tools on Instagram designed to open up additional avenues for advertising as the company grapples with weak advertising demand. The social network announced that it’s beginning to test ads in search results to reach people actively searching for businesses, products and content. Ads will show up in the feed that people can scroll when they tap into a post from search results.
After the initial testing phase, Meta plans to launch ads in search results globally in the coming months. The launch is likely going to be an unwelcome addition to the app from a consumer standpoint for some, as it bring ads to yet another part of the social network.
Once the ad placement rolls out widely, users around the world will start to see ads related to their searches. For example, if you search for “Skin Care,” you will see relevant ads within the search results feed. You can tell the difference between ads and regular posts through a “Sponsored” label under the account’s name.
Instagram is also launching Reminder Ads, which are designed to make it easier for businesses to announce, remind and notify people of future events or launches that they may be interested in. The idea behind Reminder Ads is to help advertisers build awareness and anticipation for upcoming events. Users can opt into reminders and receive three notifications from Instagram. Users will get a reminder one day before the event or launch, 15 minutes before and at the time of the event or launch. Reminder Ads are rolling out to all advertisers as an option in feed.
These new tools serve to boost the company’s ability to pull in revenue at a time when Meta has been seeing declining ad sales. As part of its Q4 2022 earning results, Meta revealed last month that its ad revenue fell to $31.2 billion from $32.6 billion in the same quarter last year. Meta CFO Susan Li had noted at the time that Q4 revenue for the company remained under pressure from weak advertising demand. Li said this was due to the “the uncertain and volatile macroeconomic landscape.”
After Meta reported its first-ever quarterly revenue decline in Q2 2022 amid declining ad sales, the company increased its ad load on Instagram with the launch of two new ad slots. Meta launched a new ad format for Facebook Reels and started allowing advertisers to run ads on the Explore home page and in profile feeds.
Meta isn’t the only company grappling with weak advertising demand, as Snap CEO Evan Spiegel told analysts last month that advertising demand hasn’t improved. Spiegel said this was due to advertisers managing their budgets at a time of economic uncertainty.