Strange things are afoot in social media land… After spending years knitting together the two platforms, Facebook-owned Instagram recently announced it would allow new advertisers to create Instagram ads without a Facebook page.

Naturally, everyone’s eyebrows at 24 fingers shot skyward at this news, but then we dug a little deeper. 

First, the feature is currently only available in the US and Turkey and there are no plans to expand it elsewhere. That said, it wouldn’t be the first time Facebook did something unexpected. 

Second, any campaigns run under this new tool will use Instagram to track ad performance, rather than Facebook.  

For those itching to know how to set it up, first of all head to your Instagram profile, tap the post you’d like to advertise and then tap promote under the image. 

Fill in the destination, audience, budget and duration details, then tap ‘next’. To complete the ad, tap ‘create promotion’ under ‘review’. Once the post has been approved it will go live.  

There’s a lot of discussion in the media about whether the ability to run Instagram ads without a Facebook page is linked to the backlash against Facebook and its policing of hate speech on the platform. 

Several big advertisers are pulling campaigns from the social media giant over the controversial issue, and it could be that creating a barrier of separation between Facebook and Instagram could give marketers a way to continue to reach audiences without compromising their principles. 

An Instagram spokesperson told AdWeek the change had been in testing for months and was nothing to do with the latest headlines, but we think the timing of even a limited roll-out is interesting to say the least. 

Whether the ability to run Instagram ads without a Facebook page will be expanded to other countries or take in brands that have advertised on both platforms before will remain to be seen, but we’ll keep an eye on what’s occurrin’. 

Want to get the best out of your social media ad campaigns? Talk to us at 24 fingers and we’ll make sure you go straight to the top of the class.