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?