Long devoid of any direct advertising, Instagram has not only become a booming online photo-sharing network with more than 150 million users – but it’s also emerged as an important medium that, because of its lack of ads, fosters creativity and an artistic eye from brands.
As images aren’t sponsored or promoted in any way beyond a follow, brands must be über creative in their presentation of content, allowing the engaging images to draw an audience themselves. It’s this unique environment that’s given us gems from brands like Nike, Red Bull, Adidas and Converse.
When Facebook purchased Instagram for $1 billion in April 2012, experts predicted that advertising would soon be making its way to the photo-centric app. Well, it took almost 18 months, but advertising on Instagram was finally announced on Oct. 3.
“In the next couple months, you may begin seeing an occasional ad in your Instagram feed if you’re in the United States. Seeing photos and videos from brands you don’t follow will be new, so we’ll start slow,” reads the Instagram blog.
“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.”
For the most part, this development was met with a collective shrug from users and ad folks, as few were caught off guard. “It was only a matter of time,” remarked Droid Life.
Though seemingly inevitable over the past year and a half since the billion dollar transaction, how do you feel about Instagram advertising now that it’s become official? Will its presence curb your usage of the app? Will it stifle creativity from brands now that they can simply pay for placement? Share your two cents below.