Popular image-sharing app Instagram has launched a new ad format allowing advertisers and brands to provide followers with more information on their products.

“Carousel ads” will give marketers the opportunity to allow potential consumers who see their ads to view additional images and a link to a relevant mobile web page.

Having received feedback from its users, Instagram has found that there is a demand for more information about a brand or product which is seen on the app, either via a sponsored photo or video.

Up until now, brands have only been able to include external links in their profile bio, leaving many companies unable to utilise the platform to sell directly to their followers.

A new dimension

Despite previous restrictions, a number of companies, including fashion brand Michael Kors, have attempted to make the platform shoppable.

Last year retailer Nordstrom added a link to its Instagram profile, connecting 529,000 followers to a shadow site of the company’s Instagram photos, Like2Buy, which could be clicked to purchase the items.

Taking the initiative, Instagram’s carousel ads aim to replicate the feel of multi-page print campaigns across mobile devices, giving brands and advertisers the opportunity to reach followers with vivid and inspiring images.

“For instance, a fashion company could use the carousel to deconstruct the individual products in a ‘look,” says Instagram.

“A car company might share an array of different features of a vehicle and provide a link to learn more about the new model. Or, an advertiser could showcase how multiple ingredients come together to make a delicious meal.”

Taking off

The company appears confident that carousel ads will be a success with both users and brands, bringing a whole new dimension to the traditionally image-only app. And for those who object to the new ad format?

“As with all photo and video ads, people who don’t want to know more can simply scroll past carousel ads in their feed.”

Instagram will be introducing its new ad format on a limited basis, rolling out over the next few weeks while the platform decides which variations perform best.