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Instagram gives companies more ways to display ads

The social network will let advertisers post groups of photos and links to websites via a new "carousel."

Instagram is beefing up its advertising technology. Jason Cipriani/CNET

Instagram is expanding the types of ads it shows in its latest attempt to woo advertisers.

The photo-focused social network said Wednesday it is introducing a "carousel" that allows advertisers to post a sequence of photos and a link to a website. The goal, Instagram said, is to make it easier for users to interact with a brand.

The move marks a further refinement of Instagram's advertising efforts. The social network, which Facebook purchased for $1 billion three years ago, has been relatively slow to offer new advertising features, especially when compared with its own surging growth. In December, Instagram said 300 million people were using the service at least once a month, a 50 percent jump from nine months earlier.

Instagram isn't the only budding social network trying to appeal to advertisers. Snapchat has also added advertising features to its app, working to become one of the most profitable social networks and not just one of the largest.

Facebook, for its part, has expanded the use of its advertising technology such as Atlas, which is designed to show users ads that are the most relevant to them.