Two cents blog

Instagram bites the dust

by BCM Group on 2 October 2014

That’s right people, kiss your advert-free Instagram feed goodbye! Instagram Sponsored ads have landed in Australia. An inevitable next step from the popular photo sharing app since it was bought out by advertising heavy Facebook in 2012.

It was good while it lasted, and safe to say users of Instagram really had a good run. Since the app launched in 2010 it has been an advertising free platform for its 200 million active users, full of interesting people, beautiful places, cute animals and of course, selfies.

As there was much chatter in the industry about “Sponsored” ads launching, I remained on the lookout. The first Sponsored ad (from Instagram themselves) came into my feed this morning and almost went unnoticed. That is the grand plan though, to seamlessly show photo or videos ads, only being able to distinguish it’s an advertisement when you see the “Sponsored” label where the time stamp normally is.

Insta ads

Pondering what this might mean for you, here are some answers to your questions:

So ads are here, but what can I expect to see?
Essentially, more ads, but only from a select handful of premium brands that are already on Instagram with a significant following. Each ad will be approved personally by CEO Kevin Systrom, and they won’t come cheap. It is expected that these big brands will pay big money, estimated between $350k and $1 million dollars for a one month campaign.

How do I engage with the ad if I like it?
Of course Instagram has made this step very user-friendly. Just tap the label to ‘learn more’ about how advertising works on Instagram.

I’m not sure how I feel about this, as an app user can I control the ads?
Yes you can! The take up of these ads will be closely monitored during the roll out phase. Instagram is allowing users to give feedback on ads, so if you see an ad that doesn’t interest you, you can tap the “…” below it to hide it and tell Instagram what you didn’t like about it.

As an advertiser I’m more excited than bummed about these new Sponsored ads. It’ll be interesting to see what brands jump on the front foot and at the opportunity to be the first to run these campaigns. So, stay tuned photo lovers.

Julia Bannerman is an SEM Account Manager at BCM

- Kev on October 2

Thanks for the update Julia. It will be important to get the balance right on this. More and more I hear people complain that their Facebook feed has become saturated with promoted posts. There's a high cost of entry for the moment, so perhaps this will act to restrict ads.

- Paul on October 2

Thanks for the update Julia. Will be interesting to see how intrusive the ads actually are. Makes me wonder if, like Ello, we'll soon see a new competitor offering an ad-free environment?

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