Instagram is adding 30-second video ads and other features in a push to give businesses more ways to tap potential customers through the Facebook photo sharing app. The company said in a blog post that large and small advertisers will be able to run campaigns on Instagram starting this month, and ads are now available in more than 30 new countries, including India, South Korea and Mexico. Aside from video ads, businesses also will be able to use landscape-style photos and a product called Marquee that aims to quickly expand a company's reach in a short time frame for things like movie premieres and product launches. It said businesses have been testing the app's new tools over the summer, and Instagram is seeing "significant" demand in areas like e-commerce, travel and entertainment.
Instagram is already an established marketing tool for small businesses like restaurants, bakeries and hair salons that sell items that photograph well. The app was founded in 2010 and bought by Facebook two years later. Its expansion comes as Instagram parent Facebook focuses more on drawing advertising revenue from where its users are, on smartphones and other hand-held devices. The world's largest online social network drew 76 percent of its total advertising revenue in the second quarter from mobile advertising, up from 62 percent a year earlier. Shares of Menlo Park, California-based Facebook Inc. rose $1.12 to $90.65 about 30 minutes before markets opened Wednesday. The stock had advanced 15 percent so far this year, as of Tuesday's closing, setting several all-time high prices along the way.