So there was a big stink a few months ago when Instagram started using advertisements. I remember being angry and turned off when I saw an ad for whatever-it-was pop up in my feed (guess it didn't work). But that first ad is the only one I remember seeing, and I'm on Instagram more than I should be. As it turns out, Instagram is hiding those ads right in plain view. As it turns out, some big time Instagrammers with hundreds of thousand of followers get paid by companies to take photos and then tag that company in the photo. I wish that my old Brooklyn employer (and delicious cheese bar) Tuffet sponsored me to post the above photo and tag them, but such is not the case.
I've seen this many times, but I never really thought of it as an ad. Maybe it's just me, but if I see a photo of someone in jeans and the caption is "Looking great in my @levis" I'm not going to click on the @levis tag. It seems that some companies have a different view on this style of advertising, and they pay, probably big time, for people to tag them in photos.
Photographers like Michael O'Neal (@moneal) and Alice Gao (@alice_gao) have more than half a million followers, and most likely get paid big bucks to do these sly little ad campaigns in the middle of their Instagram feeds.
It's actually a genius way to advertise, and much less obtrusive than random adds popping up, so I can't complain. Especially when you can just unfollow whoever you want. Now if I could just get someone to sponsor my @reichbaum feed...
Story via Arts Technica