Instagram Ads Preview


This week, Instagram made their presence known to the marketing world by introducing the first taste of sponsored posts to users’ feeds. This new wave of advertising is expected to make a big splash, as it connects creative brand content to users by reaching them in an environment where they are emotionally invested.


Last week, Instagram slowly rolled out previews of the soon-to-be advertisements. Though similar to the fancy filtered photos we all know and love, ads will be denoted with a “Sponsored” sign in the upper right-hand corner, allowing users to easily identify paid posts. In a move of delightful transparency, Instagram will also offer users the chance to hide ads and provide feedback as to why they dislike particular advertisements. These options can be found in the right-hand menu button beneath the photo where users typically share posts.


Similar to another social media giant, Tumblr, Instagram maintains that advertisements will be relevant and “premium” to suit the high standards of their user-base. To ensure users are comfortable with the transition, Instagram has hand-picked big name, top brands that show promising results on the platform to test out the new service first. That means you may start seeing posts from Levi’s, Ben & Jerrys, and PayPal in your feed, whether you’re following them or not.


How does Instagram know what ads you might be interested in seeing? As you may remember, Facebook acquired the Instagram name in April of 2012. Using your friends, connections, likes, posts, and more, Instagram will be able to figure out what type of content you’re likely to respond to.


Unlike Facebook, Instagram is taking serious precautions while in the early stages of testing. Aside from needing a written invite from Instagram, brands must pay a hefty price tag to play. The goal is to prevent brands from using logos, stock photography, and text-heavy images to promote themselves and to focus (of course) on stunning photography the big brands can afford and the photo-sharing platform is known for. And to make money off those brands that are already using it.


For now, ads will only be visible to 18+ users in the United States, but will eventually be rolled out in all countries and users. Will you be throwing your hat into the Instagram Ads ring?