Instagram is About to Become One of the Largest Advertising Businesses on the Planet

Instagram is About to Become One of the Largest Advertising Businesses on the Planet

Big news comes out of Instagram this week as they open their advertising API to the masses of potential clients around the world. The third-party partners are now plugging their information and creative campaigns into the API making this weekend the most ads I have seen in years. Though the quality of the imagery doesn't seem to stray too far away from what I am used to seeing its interesting to see where this goes for Instagram, I believe it could be the next big advertising company.This simple addition for big brands on Instagram to create their own ads and purchase space is not new as it has become an acquired taste for about a year now. The big difference now is how often and in what capacity we will begin to see them interrupting our own feeds. I am all for Instagram becoming a real business and making what any large corporation would do, make money! 

Though the real reason Instagram has become so popular is its capability to hold out in profiting off its users, its always been about the community from the very start. I guess all good things must come to an end in some senses for the better. The company is moving leaps and bounds further than any other platform before it with no signs of slowing. Below is a statement from Hootsuite Management on the possibilities of the social networks future. 

"This integration will also make marketers and social-media managers more efficient as they will no longer have to switch between their phone and computer to track all aspects of a social-media campaign. For example, if a new product is launched, responses to comments and engagement with users on Instagram can be carried out from the same window that is being used to engage followers on Twitter and Facebook. Everything is in one place." - Hootsuite Management

Instagram's Ads API partners include obviously some of Facebook's biggest marketing partners: Kenshoo, Brand Networks, Salesforce Marketing Cloud, Unified, SocialCode, 4C, Nanigans, and Ampush. Below are samples of some of the ads I have seen pop up on my news feed within the last 24 hours which honesty is more than I have seen in the last year combined. Am I mad at this evolution, not quite. I see the need to expand and grow as a business and the built in option to remove and give feedback while in the app on each specific ad whether I like it or not is fantastic. 


What do you think? Have you seen the onslaught of ads on Instagram this weekend? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below and sound off if you would take part in buying ad space on the platform.

[via Business Insider]

Andrew Griswold's picture

Andrew Griswold is a photographer and designer based in Indianapolis. Born and raised in Indy he has made a name for himself by staying very active in the creative community in both photography and design. He has also founded a community of photographers via Instagram connecting them with brands to work with and shoot locally.

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How awful. Advertisers, leave me alone.

Makes sense.

the thing i really hate in instagram is spammers and "onelike" followers

It had to come. Will they preserve the community? Only time will tell!

I'm not sure how this affects me. About 1/3 of my followers are businesses that want me to help promote their products. The rest are people that like those same products. Is an ad more effective than offering product in exchange for a review shared across multiple platforms?

The ads has not hit sweden as of yet, but as long as they don't push the Facebook flow down our throat it's fine by me.

They are only in the US with big pushes right now. Soon to be world wide.

We get them in Australia too, but only 1-2 ads a day

I just hope it doesn't do what Facebook did with their Pages and start hiding user's content unless they pay. That will kill it faster than anything. Of course they need to monetize their free service, they've just been waiting to figure out the right way to do it, but we all knew it was coming.

Right, it will be an interesting couple years to see how they do that and do it right. Knowing they are still a part of FB if they do it differently and in a great way it could be very good for the community still

This is great news! Maybe now we can be rid of this abomination of photographic platforms.

I saw this article "This Site Will Sell Your Instagram Selfie Without Your Permission for $150" ( and thought Instagram has serious issues with the rights of photographers. I haven't jumped on the Instagram bandwagon.

If I publish my work anywhere online there is a high chance it can be stolen. Social media is just yet another place people can steal my work. Jsut gotta get used to it and evolve

RIP Instagram...

At a time when I already cannot read an article on my computer, without an ad literally popping up mid read, for me, this spells the death of what was once a fun little phone photo sharing app. Who I truly feel sorry for are all the young people who think their landscape photos are going to make them successful professional photographers, when brands were hiring them for their follower counts. Instagram does not a photographer make, and nor will I be using it after these ads flood yet another screen of mine that is actually too small to read anyway.

I have not encountered a sponsored post since now most likely january or even last year… is it just me? I wonder if Instagram detects certain people as content producers and thus lets them off the hook with these ads...

@Max Leitner I didn't see ads on Instagram for the longest time... until this month. Apparently, companies are paying for ads by the amount of "likes" from real accounts, that Instagram can guarantee them. For example, a company will pay x amount of dollars for 50,000 "likes" for say a beer ad, and those likes are guaranteed to that company within a certain amount of time. That beer ad is then, for example, targeted only to Instagram accounts that would fit the demographic of people most likely to drink that beer, say 30-35 year old males. Supposedly there are algorithms in place that then send this beer ad only to Instagrammers who are 30-35 year old males. Once the ad reaches the amount of "likes" that were paid for by the company, the ad stops regenerating. If this rumor is true, then it seems to be the most effective form of advertising, ever. The problem is there are no real checks and balances with the constant bombardment of advertising in media, and the hangover I have from ads popping up on my computer screen every other minute, carries over into my phone app use, effectively killing what was once a fun experience.