Friday Talkback: Ads on Instagram

Instagram is for sale again, but not how you’d think

In a news week dominated by Apple’s iPhone announcement, one other news story that pretty much hit with a whimper is that Instagram hit 150 million users and are planning to roll out ads next year.

What do you think of ads on Instagram? This is the topic of today’s Friday talkback.

They say that nothing is free, especially on the internet. If you can’t figure out what a site is selling, odds are you are the product. Instagram parent company Facebook figured this out years ago.

It’s been a widely held notion that ads on Instagram were only a matter of time and now we have a timeline. I suspect that the first ads will work a lot like Facebook’s sponsored posts. That is, they’ll appear as items in your feed that make you wonder how they got there. Not blatant ads per se, but the more subtle type that blends into the content that you are engaged with. I doubt they will add a banner ad slot to the Instagram apps, but without details we can only guess.

This keeps Instagram free for users and shareholders happy, but will these ads just blend into the Instagram experience or feel more like a further intrusion into our privacy — hey, that’s MY Instagram feed!

So, once again, today, you’re the pundits. What do you think of Instagram running bona-fide ads on the platform? How do you think they’ll look? Will it affect how much you use Instagram? Does it even matter any more?

Let us know what you think. Sound off in the comments below.



About Marty Yawnick 1808 Articles
Marty is a self-employed graphic designer in the Fort Worth/Dallas Metroplex. He is an avid Rangers baseball, Chicago Cubs, Packers and Highbury Arsenal fan. In addition to capturing random moments with whatever camera is close by (usually his iPhone), his other interests include coffee, film, music, and traveling in seats 5E and 5F with his fiancé.
  • Bethanie Marshall

    Ads obviously suck, but there’s not much of a choice here. Unless they make a paid version or something. I think if anyone (myself included) is still using it after the TOS debacle, then you’re probably not going to leave just because they are going to start advertising.

    • Marty Yawnick

      Good call, Bethanie, on the TOS debacle.


    • gericentonze

      Exactly! Speaking of which Bethanie are you still using IG?

      • Bethanie Marshall

        Yes. I tried some of the others, Backspaces, Eye Em, and Starmatic, but I found that I just couldn’t/didn’t feel like building another community. Instagram is still just the easiest to use and still full of great iPhoneographers. @bethanie_m

        • gericentonze

          Me too! I was on EyeEm for quite some time and just missed the vibrant community at IG. Off to check your gallery – I’m @gericentonze

  • Marty Yawnick

    Reposted from my comment on Facebook:

    I know it’s weird, but I don’t think I’d mind the Facebook style ads in my feed as much as I’d mind a banner ad in the app, and that’s just because visually, I think a banner ad would muck up Instagram’s interface. I know Facebook is harvesting my information in a very Big Brother-esque way, but I’ve found some of their targeted ads to actually be relevant to me. A few of them, anyway. I find them more relevant than ads served to me on other websites that I read daily. It seems that I don’t mind being “the product.” =M=

  • Jiri

    Well, I’m glad I left IG last year. The spamming was bad but now there’ll be adds as well. Oh dear! :)

  • ashcroft54

    Well the biggest problem is they lied and said they had no intentions of Facebook buying them out. When that happened everyone jumped ship, then the ToS scandal to match Facebook standards and now ads. This was inevitable for this to happen to Instagram (since they sold their souls to Facebook). All I can will this put a big flux back onto other photo share mobile apps like Tadaa, EyeEm and Streamzoo. Since Tadaa introduced their new and innovative sharing Tadaa 3D, this might give them a huge flux and they brought the price down to $.99. Let’s hope Instagram will put in an IAP (in-app purchase) to take the ads off. I don’t think this will stop the flow on Instagram because it’s too huge. I also find a lot of up and coming mobile artists compared to other photo mobile share apps.

    But the real questions is did Kevin Syndrome ever really cared about what people really wanted with Instagram ? Did he make Instagram with the good intentions to begin with ? The biggest problem was Instagram got too big too fast, just like Kevin Syndrome’s head.

  • Michael Hill

    I left almost completely during the big TOS scandal of 2012. I say almost because I still post there occasionally, like twice a month or so, and when I do I watermark my photos now. I think a lot of people won’t leave permanently when ads show up, I’m sure there will be a lot of threats of leaving and some kicking and screaming but ultimately they will come back. Reason is, I think, a lot of people don’t want to lose the followers they have, all those compliments people get make them feel good and moving to slower paced communities, like Eye’Em for example, you get less likes and comments which makes folks feel less special than they did on IG with three or four times as many. So yea I think most will still use it, and if they do leave a large percentage will be back. Just like what happened with all that TOS jazz, people actually said they got lonely with not using IG anymore. Or poor, poor world.