Instagram’s first ad showed up today, so let’s all over-analyze it

ads on instagram
Playtime’s over kids. After many rounds of warnings and little hints at what was to come, the first Instagram ad has made its debuted. And here it is.

5:15 PM: Pampered in Paris #MKTimeless

A post shared by Michael Kors (@michaelkors) on

It’s a momentous occasion for the app, which has found itself an extremely loyal user base that cherishes the app with more ferocity and seriousness than most platform’s see. The problem is that when changes as big as the introduction of ads come down the pipeline, reactions can be much more volatile. Of course that’s a happy problem for Instagram (and Facebook) to have.

But it also means since the hour of Instagram ads is now upon us, we’re (the tech media, devoted users, marketing types) going to analyze the hell out of it. So here we go.

1. My first thought is that this definitely was not taken with a smartphone – which personally is a bit of a hang-up for me. We already see brand’s products highlighted in all their Photoshopped glory in magazines, TV, on their Facebook pages – everywhere else. Instagram is supposed to be this medium where the playing field is level, and we’re all working with the same tools. This DSLR-taken image stands out not only because of the expensive watch and decorate dining, but because it was produced by a much more capable camera. It takes some of the fun out of what are supposed to be “natural” ads.

2. I bet that’s a really expensive watch. You probably shouldn’t leave it sitting around so cavalierly next to food and drink.

3. What, is this Pinterest? This probably has a lot to do with #1, but there’s something about the fancy cookies, the pastel color palette, the catchy caption that screams Pinterest to me. Which, if what you want is to convert social content into sales, is fine – those guys are on to something apparently.

4. I really hate macaroons. This photo is starting to gross me out.

5. These two comments are very telling and also very hilarious.

ig ad comments

6. Man, am I thrilled there isn’t a video ad of this. Those are apparently not showing up for a year. This is what comes to mind when I think of watch videos. That shows up on Instagram, I am out.

That’s it. There isn’t much to say about the photo because, as promised, it doesn’t really look that much different (save the better image quality) than anything else that shows up on Instagram. It’s whimsical, it’s aspirational, there’s a humblebragging element, and there’s food in it. But perhaps this is a sheep in wolf’s clothing, a tip-toe toward a totally Insta-ad future. Soak it in, everyone. There’s no going back.

Product Review

The iPad Pro is the best tablet ever. But don't sell your laptop just yet

Apple has unveiled a big redesign for the iPad Pro, slimming down the bezels, adding Face ID, and the ability to attach and charge the Apple Pencil. All of this comes at a high cost however, as the iPad Pro starts at $799.

5G’s arrival is transforming tech. Here’s everything you need to know to keep up

It has been years in the making, but 5G is finally becoming a reality. While 5G coverage is still extremely limited, expect to see it expand in 2019. Not sure what 5G even is? Here's everything you need to know.

Some ‘Fortnite’ players aren’t too happy with the new Infinity Blade weapon

The most recent update for Fortnite added the Infinity Blade melee weapon to battle royale, and some players aren't happy with how much it has changed the game during competitions.

3DMark’s Port Royal lets you benchmark ray tracing on Nvidia’s RTX cards

UL is adding another benchmarking utility to its popular 3DMark suite to help gamers measure their graphics card's ray tracing performance. You'll soon be able to measure how Nvidia's RTX 2070, 2080, and 2080 Ti stack up.
Social Media

This event topped Facebook’s biggest moments of the year — again

As the year comes to a close, Facebook is looking back on what users discussed most over the last year. For two years in a row, International Women's Day topped the list. So what else is on the list?
Social Media

This band owns Twitter, according to list of top accounts and tweets for 2018

What was the biggest buzz on Twitter in 2018? Twitter's 2018 Year in Review highlights the biggest tweets, accounts, and hashtags. The most-tweeted celebrities, movies, TV shows, athletes, politicians and more in Twitter's 2018 trends.
Social Media

What do yodeling and Kylie Jenner have in common? YouTube’s top 2018 videos

In a true nod to the variety found on YouTube, the platform's top 10 list of videos from 2018 range from celebrities to sports, from perfectly tossing a picture frame on the wall to a kid yodeling in aisle 12 at Walmart.
Home Theater

It took Tom Cruise to raise awareness of this troublesome TV setting

Tom Cruise, in an unexpected PSA tweet, asks you to turn off motion interpolation on your TV, but stops short of how to do it. Here's more on the topic, along with links to a guide on how to rid your TV of the dreaded "soap opera effect."

Make a GIF of your favorite YouTube video with these great tools

Making a GIF from a YouTube video is easier today than ever, but choosing the right tool for the job isn't always so simple. In this guide, we'll teach you how to make a GIF from a YouTube video with our two favorite online tools.

Amazon scouted airport locations for its cashier-free Amazon Go stores

Representatives of Amazon Go checkout-free retail stores connected with officials at Los Angeles and San Jose airports in June to discuss the possibility of cashier-free grab-and-go locations in busy terminals.
Social Media

Snapchat facial recognition could soon power a new portrait mode, code suggests

Digging into Snapchat's code suggests a handful of upcoming camera features, including a portrait mode. The feature appears to use facial recognition A.I. to blur the background. The code also suggests an updated camera interface.

Google+ continues to sink with a second massive data breach. Abandon ship now

Google+ was scheduled to shut its doors in August 2019, but the second security breach in only a few months has caused the company to move its plan forward a few months. It might be a good idea to delete your account sooner than later.
Social Media

Walkie-talkie voice messaging finally comes to Instagram

In its latest grab from messaging apps, Instagram now lets you send walkie-talkie style voice messages. Apps such as Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Snapchat, and iMessage have offered the feature for some time.
Social Media

‘YouTube Rewind 2018’ is about to become its most disliked video ever

YouTube is about to achieve a record it really doesn't want — that of "most-disliked video." Yes, its annual recap of featuring popular YouTubers has gone down really badly this year.