The jobbing business development manager seeking to expand agency business will very shortly be able add Instagram to the list of sites for placing ads. The free photo sharing app, which was acquired by Facebook in April last year, is proceeding with its gentle approach to embracing online advertising sales and has now unveiled new details about what its users can expect.
The company assured users last month that advertising posts won’t jar with the network’s visual appeal and will feel natural. Advertising videos and photos featured on the network, Instagram has now revealed, will look pretty much the same as regular posts, but there’ll be a few subtle differences. Instead of the user’s name (which appears in the top left corner of the image or video), sponsored content will bear the brand name. And instead of the timestamp in the right upper corner, there’ll be a label reading “Sponsored”.
The question hard-boiled business development managers may now be asking is probably “Is that all?” The answer, of course, is “no”. Users will be given the choice of hiding any ad they dislike (and providing feedback on that they took exception to) by going to the bottom right corner and clicking the “…” symbol. With user feedback, Instagram says it will provide better targeting. And to that end, it’ll also glean what its user’s interests are and which brands they follow by exploring their Instagram and Facebook activity.
At this stage, Instagram has restricted the brands it’ll allow to advertise to a relatively small bunch of recognizable name, including PayPal, Macy’s, Ben & Jerry’s and General Electric.
Gambling with Instagram’s reputation?
According to Jim Tobin, the President of the marketing firm Ignite Social Media, after having spent $1 billion on the Instagram acquisition, Facebook clearly had to find a way to monetize it, not least in order to stay sweet with stock market expectations.
“Instagram is doing the right thing by easing the ad format onto its users over time and looking for reaction but the challenge is way beyond format. It’s also what marketers do with the ads once they’re given the opportunity to control the content and the targeting.”
Making sure the ads go on appealing to its users will be the key to its success, Tobin added.