Salesforce taps Instagram's new API with tailored marketing tools

Marketing Cloud users now have easier access to Instagram's 300 million users

Salesforce's Marketing Cloud now offers Instagram integration.

Salesforce's Marketing Cloud now offers Instagram integration.

Users of Salesforce's Marketing Cloud on Tuesday gained easier access to Instagram's roughly 300 million users thanks to an integration made possible by a new API.

Marketers can now use Salesforce's cloud software to buy and manage Instagram advertising, publish content and offer customer service on the photo and video sharing site, among other capabilities.

Making the new integration possible is Instagram's Ad API, which was originally announced in June. At the time, the site said it would initially open up the application programming interface just to a select group of Facebook marketing partners and agencies.

Instagram is currently testing self-serve buying interfaces and APIs with a small group of partners, it confirmed on Tuesday.

In addition to Salesforce, marketing software vendors Brand Networks, Ampush and Kenshoo were among the companies jumping on board with the Ad API on Tuesday.

Instagram ads will be available to advertisers of all types later this year, the company said.

Instagram will generate $595 million in mobile ad revenues worldwide this year, according to eMarketer. By 2017, it's predicted to reach $2.81 billion worldwide, surpassing Google and Twitter in U.S. mobile display ad revenues, the researcher said.

With the new integration, Salesforce Marketing Cloud's Social.com component now gives advertisers a single platform for buying and managing campaigns on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn. Its Active Audiences feature, meanwhile, enables them to unlock and sync CRM data in Salesforce to optimize advertising.

The cloud software's Social Studio component helps marketers publish content to Instagram, track campaign performance and share Instagram images across social networks. They can also participate in conversations and resolve customer service issues on the site as well as view analytics offering insight into community feedback, sentiment and trends, Salesforce said.

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