It hardly comes as a surprise, but the time for using this network without advertising has now passed.
Instagram has now officially changed its social media marketing strategy as sponsored advertising is now being delivered to its users in the United States, eliminating the “preview” time in which user feeds were free of ads.
Sponsored photos will become a regular part of this Facebook owned network’s feeds.
Among the first social media marketing campaigns that will be viewed as sponsored ads on Instagram for U.S. consumers will be courtesy of Michael Kors, the fashion brand. The ad will feature one of the watches from that company’s collection of Timeless pieces. When this first ad is posted on the site, it will mark the close of the “preview” period on the site that was designed to help the network’s approximately 150 million active users to become accustomed to the idea of seeing images and video ads within their feeds that had previously been free of any advertising at all.
This has become what is appearing to be a social media marketing trend that is closing in on universal.
American users of Instagram will see the Michael Kors image regardless of whether or not they are following the brand on their accounts. This ad will include a sponsored label to identify it as a placement that has been paid for by the brand. Viewers will then be able to choose to hide it, leave it as it is, or even provide feedback if they don’t appreciate the content of that ad or any others that will be displayed in the future. The hope is to help to integrate the social media marketing into the feeds without taking away from the user experience.
Social media marketing with ads in feeds has not been present on Instagram throughout its entire three year lifespan, so far. However, when the service sold to Facebook, last year, for $1 billion, it had intentions to offer magazine-quality ads that it hoped its viewers would like. This appears to be the first visible phase in that new effort to further monetize the network.