Social Media

Instagram Has Ads Now: Everything You Need To Know

Mihir Patkar 07-11-2013

You could see it coming, couldn’t you? If Facebook is going to buy Instagram and turn it into a billion-dollar success story $1 Billion In 2 Years: The Story Of Instagram, As Told By Its Founders "What are some good places to get professional business cards printed?" When Kevin Systrom put this innocuous question on Quora 3.5 years ago, little did he know how valuable those business cards would become. Read More , 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 Ads Coming to the Instagram Feeds of US Users News of ads in your Instagram feed have been rumoured for over a month, and the official announcement was made on Thursday. Read More 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 Why Am I Seeing This Ad? How Social Media Ads Target You Every social media site out there shows us ads. But sometimes, those ads can get very specific towards you, often showing you ads that seem creepy and stalkerish. How do they do that? Read More .

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?

Related topics: Facebook, Instagram, Online Advertising.

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  1. Doloras Watts
    June 17, 2017 at 3:44 am

    If they were shown occasionally that would be ok but dang they show up every other picture!! I'd just as soon quit Instagram as put up with that!!

  2. Dana
    June 3, 2017 at 7:05 pm

    I'd rather pay once and NOT have ads!!!!

  3. rich cower
    May 10, 2015 at 9:49 pm

    Easy to tell you what I thought of this ad crap. I deleted Instagram from my phone, I don't need it.

    • Doloras Watts
      June 17, 2017 at 3:45 am

      I feel exactly the same way!!

  4. albgardis
    March 23, 2014 at 9:36 pm

    Had my first ad today, came totally unexpected and therefore shocking to me (female, 50, USA). It is of a fashion brand I could not care less about. So whoever organizes these feeds, they failed completely in my case.

    I am handling this as usually: if I am bothered by your unwanted ad in my face, your product will go on my black list of boycotted brands. Yes, it's that simple. So the sponsors have achieved the exact opposite of what they have paid for. Too bad.

  5. Jacob Watson
    November 8, 2013 at 2:24 am

    I honestly think this is the most retarded decision ever.. they force you to crop your pictures insanely small already.. Anybody can easily report a picture for "fun" and get it removed because they don't actually analyze the pictures.. And now on top of all this frustration we have to deal with Advertisements getting in the way of us seeing our white girlfriends posting whatever pumpkin flavor starbucks triple mocha ugg boot iphone 5s coffee they just bought.. it's utterly nonsense.. Instagram has always been a non-profit social network but now they are just greedy.... I hate to see it ruined like this

    • Cendrine Marrouat
      November 9, 2013 at 7:42 am

      Actually, they aren't. They belong to Facebook. What did you expect, really?