Businesses are always looking to expand across a variety of objectives from —brand awareness and identifying social channels that best reaches your customers —and advertising on Instagram will help achieve those goals. Before Instagram launched ads a year and a half ago, the online mobile photo sharing, video sharing platform has kept a low-key profile, allowing only a few big brands to advertise on users photo feeds.

I would have said Instagram users (including myself) were in for a surprise, but were they? Marketers have long anticipated the advertising expansion via Instagram and the commercialization of Insta was inevitable. On Tuesday, Instagram announced their plans to introduce advertising to businesses of all types and sizes.

This is a sample ad of what to expect the next time you check your Instagram newsfeed.


You’ll be able to distinguish if a photo or video is an advertisement because of the “Sponsored” label located on top right hand corner where the time stamp normally would be.

Increasing advertising on user feeds is clever, however my concern is that because Instagram only consists of pictures and videos, advertisements may be overlooked. The reason I say this is because users (myself included) tend to scroll up and down so quickly that news updates or other information is often ignored. In turn, Instagram ads may not generate as much buzz as companies would like.

I personally haven’t seen a sponsored ad on my feed yet, which may be because I’m quickly scrolling through my feed. However, that may be the point that these ads are meant to be as unobtrusive as possible.

My fear is that Instagram user feeds will be flooded with unexpected ads from random companies and neglect to remember why the app was created in the first place. It’s really important for Instagram to develop a balance with regards to the increasing advertisements because it may deter the users experience.

Instagram is a fun way of sharing your life and experiences with your followers through pictures and/or videos. Instagram enables you to share moments that reflect an ideal life through unfiltered or filtered images.

I’m a huge fan of Instagram. I’m more of a visual person and that is exactly what Instagram is: Visual. Nothing is better than a picture to tell a story. Instagram’s Global Head of Business and Brand Development, James Quarles, stated, “Visual storytelling for brands has more resonance. People remember it more…but we want to make sure the ads they see are for things that matter to them.”

Now, there has been a lot of backlash about this. And by this I mean Instagram’s new Terms of Use. Account users will continue to agree that Instagram may place advertising and promotions “on, about or in conjunction with” their content. Essentially, they have the ability to place ads on photos. In addition, Instagram advertisers will have the ability to access your data and the data generated when you’re on Facebook. Having advertisers track and collect data about your activities outside of Facebook isn’t creepy at all….

Sadly, this probably isn’t the first time advertisers have collected and tracked your activity.

There is a new wave of celebrities advertising products through Instagram. For example, your newsfeed is probably crowded with photos of celebrities posing with fitness/detox teas that they claim they cannot live without. Below the picture they provide the link of the tea brand in the caption section so other users can check out the products page or provide a link so the product can be purchased.

Screen Shot 2015-06-04 at 9_opt

With some celebrities having millions of followers, this is an excellent strategy for companies to advertise their products, not only by the sheer number of followers these celebrities have, but many of the followers idolize them and will buy whatever they promote. One would argue that a similar strategy is celebrities advertising of TV. However, the difference is, that viewers aren’t able to directly access a medium where they are able to purchase the product or look further into. Instagram allows users to purchase or view the products webpage with just a click of a button in the caption beneath the picture.

Because Instagram is one of the most popular social media outlets, advertising is and will be taken to a whole different level.

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