In late September, Facebook-owned Instagram announced sponsored photos and videos within users’ feeds.
Tapping into the large fashion audience on the platform, Michael Kors became the first Instagram advertiser late last week with its sponsored post.
Launch Brands Help Test & Learn
As Instagram tests the new ad format, it’s limiting the number of advertisers participating. In addition to Michael Kors, brands involved in the launch include: Adidas, Ben & Jerry’s, Burberry, General Electric, Lexus, Levi’s, Macy’s, PayPal and Starwood.
Users Considered as Part of Experience
When social platforms monetize for the first time, users reflexively assume it will impact the platform negatively.
It’s a reflection of the time and passion the site’s user community has invested in it. But Instagram’s aim is to make its ads feel as natural to Instagram as the content its 100 million users currently get from brands.
Instagram Ads Tap Facebook Data
Ads will be labeled “Sponsored” and contain a button allowing users to hide them. Users can provide feedback on the ad, or opt out of that particular ad type. Ad targeting will be based on user actions across Instagram and Facebook. Instagram plans to optimize its targeting over time based on ad performance data and user feedback.
Based on the rise of video and visual content for simple mobile consumption, Instagram’s leveraging Facebook’s data is a smart first step for its advertising program. It will be interesting to see how it’s optimization creates new paid oppoortunities for brands