Instagram Implements Advertisements
Instagram’s ads follow footsteps of Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr
Published: Monday, October 7, 2013
Updated: Monday, October 7, 2013 13:10
Facebook is finding new and exciting ways to put even more ads in front of its users, as it announced last week that Instagram will now feature corporate advertisements.
This news came in a blog post on Instragram’s website. The company, which Facebook purchased for $772 million last year, will be rolling out the changes slowly.
“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,” the blog post said.
Such community members might include brands like Burrberry and GE, which were quick to jump on Instagram as a platform.
“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,” the blog post continues.
Contrary to Instagram’s optimism, its parent company hasn’t been met with any sort of positivity. Facebook’s recent inclusion of news feed ads has been met with smothering negativity from users, even as it served to create a powerful ad business.
Perhaps it’s no surprise this announcement came just before the highly media anticipated reveal of Twitter’s S-1 filing. It’s a common tactic among corporations to bury bad news amidst the more positive, media saturated events and announcements.
This sort of ad model seems to be increasingly the norm. A company creates a new platform for social media interaction, spreading it for free through the Internet, and after reaching a critical mass of users and followers, its operators implement an advertising system.
I’m personally not of the opinion that ads are “ruining” the Internet. In point of fact, they’re just about the only thing allowing free content to exist outside of pay walls and micro transactions.
If the same denizens of the web that called for an end to ads didn’t balk at the idea of spending $5 for the same service, it would be a different story. Sadly, everything on the Internet is too ephemeral for most to empathize with content and tools creators. It’s not a physical product, and therefore it’s not worth spending money on. Hence the strategy of getting users addicted and integrated first, before flipping the advertisement switch.
Ironically (if you believe it wasn’t intentional), Twitter, the owner of Instagram’s rival service Vine, stated in its IPO prospectus on the very same day that it does not “currently place, or currently plan to place, ads on Vine.”
Before Instagram entered the micro-video circuit, this might not have been an issue. However, as it encroaches ever closer toward Vine’s frenetic video snapshot territory, the struggle between the two is sure to heat up.
Whether Instagram’s inclusion of ads will hurt or help it in that struggle is unclear. I, for one, am willing to be most users are already hooked.