Anyone with a bit good common sense has probably been expected ads to come to Instagram for a long time, but it wasn’t until about a month ago that it was officially confirmed, and even explained shortly after on the company’s blog.
Today, Instagram took to their blog again to give us an idea of how ads will look like and what we’ll be able to do about them…
The company announced that coming this week, users in the US will see the above ad in their feed. This is a one-time sample ad aimed at giving you an idea of what ads on Instagram will look like.
If you see this ad, you’ll be able to tap on the “Sponsored” link where the photo or video time stamp normally is. This will take you to a page with more information about Instagram ads. The blog post failed to explain how a user will be able to act on the ad. For example, will there be a link below the ad to take me to the advertiser’s website? Will I be able to double tap on the ad to like it or be taken to the advertiser’s site? This isn’t clear yet.
The company also reiterated that “We want ads to be creative and engaging, so we’re starting with just a handful of brands that are already great members of the Instagram community.” In short, they want you to understand they won’t pollute your feed with ugly ads but rather deliver targeted and tasteful photo or video ads. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Nike and other premium brands as part of Instagram’s new advertising program.
We all despise ads, as beautiful as they may be, but they are a reality of the online world. If you want to enjoy a product or service offered for free, be ready to see ads. I’m not particularly happy to soon see ads in my Instagram feed (by the way, are you following me on Instagram?), but I trust the company will do it in a tasteful way. What about you?
Update: Instagram PR agency reached out to us and shared some of the initial advertisers that will be on board, as well as how these ads will be more about branding than generating direct sales.
On background, anyone with an Instagram account can include a hyperlink in their profile (that “bio” portion at the top of their feed). The ads themselves will not be hyperlinked, but someone interested in the brand can click on the brand’s username to be taken to their feed and whatever link the brand features. However, it should be noted that ads on Instagram are designed to help brands build awareness and tell their story visually, just like a magazine ad – they are not designed to drive transactions.
Note, too, that we shared the list of initial advertisers on the About Ads explainer – the list is: Adidas, Ben & Jerry’s, Burberry, General Electric, Lexus, Levi’s®, Macy’s, Michael Kors, PayPal and Starwood.