And so it begins: first ads begin showing up on Instagram

By , Nov 1, 2013

more instagram followers

Instagram officially launched its advertising platform today, putting an end to its 3+ year-long ad-free streak. A ‘sponsored post’ from upscale fashion brand Michael Kors has begun appearing in user timelines.

But it’s not like we didn’t know this was coming. The launch comes just a week after the social network offered up a preview of what ads were going to look like on Instagram, and after months of several warnings…

We first got wind of Instagram getting ads back in December of last year, when Facebook’s VP of global marketing solutions Carolyn Everson confirmed her team was working on ‘monetizing’ the photo-sharing service.

And now the moment is finally here. There’s no more speculating on what the ads are going to look like, or what they’ll mean for its 150 million+ users. It’s done. So without further ado, here’s the first Instagram ad:

instagram ad

Unsurprisingly, we’re seeing mixed feedback on the initial Michael Kors sponsored post. While it’s already received well over 120,000 likes, it’s also prompted a number of negative comments from unhappy users.

Conventional wisdom says that most folks will simply complain and move on, but only time will tell how this new strategy will affect Instagram’s business. Will it lose a large amount of users? Will it make money?

For those who haven’t seen the ad yet, it looks and acts like other Instagram posts in your timeline—you can like it, comment on it, and tapping on the poster’s name takes you to the brand’s profile page for more info.

So, what do you think about Instagram ads?

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  • Skrilla

    Hopefully jailbreak adblock will come

    • Brian Kieffer

      It already is here: AdBlocker. It can block App Store app ads as well.

  • J. Rockwell

    Instagram could have 100′s of ads per session, and it will still be a hit. Why? Cause women will NEVER get tired of taking pictures of themselves:)

    • Arthur Geron

      there’s facebook, tumblr and other stuff for that, a lot of apps have a filter for pictures (even iOS’s stock camera has that), so why instagram? I really don’t get it

      • Victor

        Because a SHITLOAD OF PEOPLE ALREADY USE IT AND THEY LIKE IT SO FAR

      • Arthur Geron

        I think ppl could do better use of their time, people that are busy making projects and big stuff doesn’t have time for that shit

  • chumawumba

    more ads = less users

    • Trod

      Not true at all. People are too set in their ways. If that was true then many apps/social tools would have died already most notably Facebook but that’s still live and well. Then there’s stuff like WhatsApp which is way outdated and plenty of way better alts but people still continue to use it. Ultimately the point is that: These companies can do pretty much anything they want (in the case of whatsapp they can do absolutely nothing at all) and people will still use them because their userbase is huge and everyone is too lazy to switch.

  • workin

    …so it ends.

    Meh platform, too limited, too ‘square’ shoots itself in foot

  • Hwang Lee

    I really don’t mind the ads really, as long as they’re high quality photos such as the one above. It’ll bring some good photography into my news feed.

  • Prasoon Singh

    As long as they’re not annoying and they’re not videos, I’m fine with ads.

  • H5ire

    Good bye *Real* Instagram.!!
    You will be remembered while showing up annoying ads.. :)

  • Dave Elg

    Let’s be clear about a couple of things.. Instagram has given the finger to iPad users and given another finger to ios7 design. Their developers have been focused on ads. How is this a surprise to anyone?

  • mrhs

    Any one suffer from hashtags and comments problem ? :(

  • hi there

    Hmm, they need to make money tho

  • Lionelle

    I still haven’t updated my instagram to version 4.2.4, does that mean I won’t get the ads?

    • Blip dude

      I was thinking the same thing. I haven’t updated the app at all (I can still disable auto-play). By the looks of it, unless instagram decides to do a major revamp of the app, I see no reason to update it at the moment. I am just fine with these “bugs.”

  • on3simpleclick

    We can always dream of the day, when another app knocks Instagram off it’s perch & becomes the most popular image sharing app. Oh, what a glorious day that will be.

  • 4pplesauce

    digital era problems, ehh

  • Tom

    Even if another app replaces Instagram, eventually they will also have to introduce ads or another way to monetize the app or they won’t be able to cope?

  • http://www.friv2friv4.com/ Friv 2 Friv 4

    Whats App which is way outdated and plenty of way better alts but people still continue to use it!….