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Instagram has more ads than ever and it’s all Facebook’s fault

If you’ve noticed a lot more ads while scrolling Instagram, you’re not alone: Facebook has told Instagram to double the amount of ads on the photo-sharing app.

The Information reports that last year, Facebook gave Instagram instructions to “roughly double” their ads. The Facebook-owned app displays its ads in the Stories feature, right in your feed, and in the Explore feature. 

Aside from more ads, the report also looks at how Facebook has taken greater control on Instagram over the past few years. The social media giant originally bought the photo app in 2012 for $1 billion and has been making changes ever since. Facebook has plans to rename Instagram to “Instagram from Facebook,” after CEO Mark Zuckerberg became annoyed that his company didn’t get enough credit for helping Instagram grow. Instagram’s co-founders resigned from the company in 2018 amid reported tensions between them and Facebook.

One of Facebook’s most controversial moves was adding advertisements to Instagram in 2015, but it’s paid off: Instagram made $9 billion in ad revenue in 2018, according to an eMarketer report,

In June, Instagram announced branded content ads that allow influencers that work with brands to reach a broader audience beyond their followers. While this new ad type looks like a normal, sponsored post, having someone you don’t follow pop up on your feed advertising a product turned off some users.

“This is just the beginning and we’ll continue to invest in branded content to provide even more value for people, creators, and businesses,” Instagram said in a blog post in June about the branded content ads. 

Users have long been suspicious that Instagram is listening in on your conversations to target you for ads. In June, Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri firmly denied that Instagram listens to you in a CBS News interview. Even if Instagram isn’t listening to you, it still knows your interests and targets the ads you see based on your behavior and interests. 

Advertising content has become a part of our typical social media experience. You can’t even start a YouTube video now without having to watch at least a snippet of an ad. A 2018 survey from Sprout Social, a social media management platform, revealed that 58% of respondents felt that there are too many ads on social media. 

Digital Trends reached out to Instagram for more details on how many ads it serves up to users and will update this story if we hear back.

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