Earlier this month, Instagram officially announced that yes, to no one’s surprise, the app would soon fold ads into your feed. At the time, it was assumed we should expect to see this change within the next few months, but apparently Instagram works fast because they’re coming next week – and what you see above is what they’ll look like.
The sponsored icon at right will be clickable and offer users more information about Instagram ads. “You’ll know a photo or video is an advertisement when you see the ‘Sponsored’ label where the time stamp normally would be,” Instagram explains. “Tap this label to learn more about how advertising works on Instagram.”
Once again, the photo sharing service wants us to know that it’s trying to approach this marketing concept as naturally and creatively as possible. “If you see an ad that doesn’t interest you, you can tap the ‘…’ below it to hide it and provide feedback about what you didn’t like. This will help us show you more interesting ads in the future.”
Of course, Instagram’s owner, Facebook, has a similar setup (see below), and complaints about its abundance of advertising and inability to create a compelling News Feed for users are unending. So despite the continued reassurance from Instagram, it’s impossible to quell all user anxiety about what the introduction of advertisements could mean.
However you can’t argue that the example ad looks like a multitude of the photos we see daily on Instagram. In some way, each of us is promoting ourselves as a brand, so it’s hard to see how this content will really interrupt the flow of photos. The only significant difference will be that you’re seeing images from accounts you don’t follow – right now, that’s probably going to be from some of the more active brands on Instagram, like Starbucks and Nike. But when Instagrams from Marlboro and Spanx start showing up … then we might have an issue.