You could see it coming, couldn’t you? If Facebook is going to buy Instagram and turn it into a billion-dollar success story, there has to be a way for the photo-sharing app to generate huge revenues. And in the world of Web apps, that invariably means advertisements.
At the beginning of October, Instagram announced that ads will start appearing in user feeds on November 1. These ads will be shown irrespective of whether you follow that brand or not, but despite that, there are a few things you can do to lessen the annoyance.
What’s An Instagram Ad Like?
For most intents and purposes, an Instagram ad looks just like any other photo shared in your feed. The only distinguishing factor is a label saying “Sponsored” at the top-right corner instead of the time-stamp, to let you know that this is an advertisement.
An Instagram ad can be a photo or a video.
The ad will have the usual ‘Like’ and ‘Comment’ fields to let users interact with the brand.
You Can Hide Ads You Don’t Like!
No service lets you hide advertisements or give feedback on whether you like it or not, and why. But Instagram is bucking the trend here.
The “…” button on each Instagram ad will give you the option to hide it, as well as provide Instagram with details on why you are doing this. This, the company says, can let them display better ads for you in the future.
Who Sees The Ads & Who Makes Them?
Eventually, the ads will be rolled out to all Instagram users, but the service (if you can call it a service) is starting off slowly. In the beginning, only adults in the United States will be able to see ads on Instagram.
Instagram has partnered up with a few select companies to launch these ads, in an attempt to “make them feel as natural” as anything else in your feed. How long will that last? Your guess is as good as mine. These first partners include: Adidas, Ben & Jerry’s, Burberry, General Electric, Lexus, Levi’s, Macy’s, Michael Kors, PayPal and Starwood. Here’s an example:
Does Instagram Use My Information?
Yes. And your information from Facebook too. Instagram claims it wants to smartly push ads from businesses that are relevant or interesting to you, so they will tap into what you do on Instagram and Facebook to figure it out.
“For instance, this might include the people you follow and the photos and videos you like on Instagram, and your interests and other basic info on Facebook,” the company says.
Instagram hasn’t clarified if they can access your Facebook information if you don’t link your FB and Instagram accounts, but if we had to guess, umlinking the two should keep them from accessing your details.
All in all, the process isn’t too dissimilar from how other social media ads target you.
You Own Your Photos & They Won’t Be Used In Ads
Perhaps the biggest concern a lot of people had when Instagram announced the ads program is whether their photos will be used in ads. This stems out of Instagram once claiming ownership of photos shared on its network, but backing off after public outcry.
Well, the good news is that it’s as clear as day this time: You own your photos and videos. Instagram does not allow its advertisers to use these.
Can Anyone Advertise & What’s The Cost?
No. Well, not at the moment. Right now, Instagram is only working with those aforementioned partners, who have rolled out only a few ads so far. Here’s an example of General Electric’s new ad.
Instagram has not yet disclosed how much money it is making out of these ads, or what the cost would be for issuing an advertisement of your own.
What Do You Think About Instagram Ads?
Have you got an advertisement in your feed yet? What was your reaction?
Would you rather pay for Instagram and get rid of the ads once and for all, or are you happy with a free service that shows you ads occasionally?