We should have seen it coming. With social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter selling advertisements to brands and products in hopes of encouraging users to buy products – it was only a matter of time before Instagram joined the party.
Earlier this week, the company announced its plans to open up the Instagram feed to all advertisers, not just the handful of big-name brands we’ve been seeing for the last couple of months. Within the next year, users can expect to see their feeds filled with ads from local shops to global brands. We can now add Instagram to the list of social networking sites that are attempting to convince their millions of users to shift from simple browsing to shopping within the site. Here are the four things to know about these new InstaAds:
1 – The ads are a way to keep the site free for users while still bringing in money for the company.
Since parent company, Facebook, purchased Instagram in 2012, the site has been relatively untouched in terms of advertisements. In 2013, users began to see few, well-known brands scattered in their feeds, but now they can expect a lot more. RBC Capital Markets has estimated that depending on how fast the ads are introduced, this year Instagram could bring in between $1.3 and $2.1 billion additional revenue to Facebook.
2 – The ads on your feed will (hopefully) cater to your searches.
Okay, so it might take some time to get used to all the new ads popping up within your feed, but Instagram is not trying to shove any and every product in your face. Similar to its parent company, Facebook, Instagram has been tracking what you search and like within the site. Brands will be able to target their ads based on your age, sex, interests, and geographic location.
3 – Instagram plans to keep the disruption to your feed as minimal as possible.
Instagram is such a popular platform because it is aesthetically pleasing, very intuitive and is easily searchable. Before, if you were on a clothing brand’s Instagram and wanted to shop for an item, you would have to exit the app then copy and paste the link provided to your browser. Instagram’s new advertisements feature will include a “Shop Now” button that will lead directly to the point of sale. Marketers everywhere are rejoicing!
4 – These ads go beyond just shopping.
Based on your activity within the app, you can also expect calls-to-action like “Install Now” or “Sign Up.”
It’s a big change for Instagram – one that hopefully wont take away from our browsing experience. Let’s hope that these new formats won’t drastically change the way we’ve come to love the app itself.