May 25, 2016

Ads Are Everywhere and Now They’re on Instagram Too


Instagram recently introduced Instagram ads to its users’ feeds joining the ranks of Facebook, Twitter and others.

The first ad posted was from U.S. fashion label Michael Kors.


Instagram first told users about plans to monetize the site through ads or sponsored posts about a month ago on the official Instagram Blog:

We have big ideas for the future, and part of making them happen is building Instagram into a sustainable business. In the next couple months, you may begin seeing an occasional ad in your Instagram feed if you’re in the United States.

However, in a recent question and answer section on its official page introducing the new photo and video ad feature, Instagram also attempted to reassure users:

As we introduce ads on Instagram, we’re taking our time and working closely with a handful of brands that are already great members of the Instagram community.

Those brands will include Adidas, Ben & Jerry’s, Burberry, General Electric, Lexus, Levi’s, Macy’s, Michael Kors, PayPal and Starwood, Instagram says.

Simon Mansell, CEO and founder of marketing firm TBG Digital, recently told Bloomberg TV he expects Instagram to be extremely selective in picking early advertisers that will fit the service’s current user experience.

He also said continued proliferation of advertising on more and more social media channels will make brands more willing to spend money on creating and promoting social media content.

But some users worry the coming of ads to Instagram might eventually mean everyone, including small businesses, will need to pay for visibility.

As this tweet suggests, a similar situation has already happened on Facebook.

Of course, advertising on Instagram may eventually also offer opportunities for small businesses to reach this social network’s 150 million users with their own marketing messages too.

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Joshua Sophy - Assistant Editor


Joshua Sophy Joshua Sophy is the Assistant Editor for Small Business Trends. A journalist with 17 years of experience in traditional and online media, Joshua got his start in the newspaper business in Pennsylvania. His experience includes being a beat reporter covering daily news. He eventually founded his own local newspaper, the Pottsville Free Press, covering his hometown.

9 Reactions

  1. Ivan Widjaya

    Unfortunately, ads are everywhere. As ad blindness increases, marketers and online businesses are looking for new monetizable asset; the way to go – so far – is native advertising (ads which blend in with the existing content)

    If you are a site owner – how’s your right sidebar ads performing? 0.5% conversion rate is considered normal these days.

    Instagram – they have the userbase and it’s only logical for them to start monetizing their assets. As long as the ads look nice – and native – I don’t mind seeing those in my Instagram.

    • Shawn Hessinger

      Hi Ivan,
      Thanks for the sidebar ad statistic. Interesting. And an ever better insight into the reason for the sponsored post approach. I think it’s important for those who complain about too many ads to realize that 1.) free content must be monetized somehow or it simply cannot be free 2.) the kind of advertising being chosen is the kind that works, so, obviously, not all visitors hate it.

  2. It was only a matter of time before they added ads. Advertisements are everywhere, it is impossible to avoid them.

  3. I don’t mind the ads as long as they can be customized to my needs. If I see ads that don’t relate to me, why would I click on them?

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