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.
I’m not so concerned about ads on Instagram but wondering if they’re going to make us pay to let people see our pics & posts, à la Facebook?
— David Lebovitz (@davidlebovitz) October 26, 2013
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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