Instagram trying to make itself even more appealing to TV advertisers

Drake hotline bling videoOVOThe first 60 second ad features Drake

Facebook’s photo-sharing app Instagram has doubled the length of its video ads to 60 seconds as part of its continuing efforts to siphon advertising dollars from television.

The new, longer ad format premiered with a TMobile ad featuring musical artist Drake and a Warner Brothers movie trailer. It will be rolling out to all advertisers over the next few weeks.

Facebook has long said that its targeting and metrics make its video ads, including on Instagram, superior to broadcast TV advertising.

The decision to allow longer videos will give advertisers more options, including letting them reuse longer formats that they’re already paying for on TV or other platforms like YouTube.

Regular Instagram users can only post videos up to 15 seconds in length, but Instagram had previously allowed advertisers to post 30-second video clips.

“60-second video gives brands more creative flexibility to reach people that want to be inspired,” James Quarles, global head of business and brand development at Instagram, said as part of a statement via email.

Although Facebook didn’t break out Instagram ad revenue on its most recent earnings, COO Sheryl Sandberg did say that the business was “growing nicely.”

The CEO of an ad network recently told Business Insider that almost half the Instagram ad impressions it served in November were video as.

“This content type is experiencing a meteoric ascent to prominence in Instagram ad campaigns much faster than expected,” Jamie Tedford, CEO of Brand Networks said.

After Facebook’s Q4 earnings, Wall Streeters attributed part of its strong growth to Instagram. Barclay’s Paul Vogel estimated that Instagram revenue will “eclipse” $1.3 billion in 2016.

If Instagram manages to steal more of the big advertising bucks from television, that prediction might just come true.

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