The Verge has confirmed with Instagram that the social network is officially adding more ads to the experience in the near future. Specifically, ads are coming to the Explore page. For those who might not know what Explore is (in which case you’ll probably miss these new ads anyway), it’s where Instagram users visit when they want to discover new content on the platform that aligns with their interests.
The silver lining here is that Instagram says the ads won’t show up in the stock Explore grid, but rather once you dig into an individual post. Start scrolling through that discovery feed and you’ll start seeing ads pop up as you go along. The first of these ads will be going live later today, and Instagram says it will be for the IGTV platform.
The ads will be both photos and videos when they go live beyond the initial IGTV ad.
Explore is where people are really open to discovery, and that’s why we’re really excited about this,” says Susan Buckner Rose, director of business product marketing, in a chat with The Verge. She says the team considers “the mindset where people are most receptive to advertising” and that the Explore page made for an obvious fit because it’s where “people come to discover new accounts or people or brands that they don’t already follow.
Explore is built to discover new content, but it’s designed to show each individual user things they might want to see. Not random ads. Instagram’s argument that ads make sense in the Explore page just by its very nature might make sense for the company, but one has to wonder if most Instagram users want to see even more ads on a daily basis. The standard feed is already littered with them, and, at least up until today, the Explore page was a way of bypassing them.
Of course, Instagram is a free platform for folks to access, so seeing ads is par for the course.
If you use Instagram on a regular basis, and especially the Explore page, are you unhappy with hearing about even more ads showing up?