Since Instagram was purchased by Facebook for roughly a kajillion dollars, people have been wondering when we would see a direct means of monetization on the social networking site. It seemed like it would never happen, but the day has finally arrived. Guns are coming to paradise.
Today, Instagram has officially announced that advertisements will begin appearing in photo feeds later this year. This will work exactly like you expect. As you scroll through all of your friends’ pictures, you’ll occasionally see a sponsored image from some company. These images will likely be tailored to you based on your posting history, accounts followed, and possibly even your Facebook page if they are connected.
This is part of the official announcement from Instagram:
Seeing photos and videos from brands you don’t follow will be new, so we’ll start slow. We’ll focus on delivering a small number of beautiful, high-quality photos and videos from a handful of brands that are already great members of the Instagram community.
Our aim is to make any advertisements you see feel as natural to Instagram as the photos and videos many of you already enjoy from your favorite brands. After all, our team doesn’t just build Instagram, we use it each and every day. We want these ads to be enjoyable and creative in much the same way you see engaging, high-quality ads when you flip through your favorite magazine.
We’ll also make sure you have control. If you see an ad you don’t like, you’ll be able to hide it and provide feedback about what didn’t feel right. We’re relying on your input to help us continually improve the Instagram experience.
How will this work in reality? It hasn’t driven many users away from Facebook, so we’re going to bet that it won’t cause too much of a stir on the Instagram community. The real question will be what is the ROI on these in-stream adverts.