Adidas, Burberry and PayPal Instagrams First Advertisers

Instagram will start trialling its sponsored content in the US from this week, using data from its parent company Facebook to target branded content.

All users in the US will see the same test ad in the coming week – see left – before video and images from Adidas, Ben & Jerrys, Burberry, General Electric, Lexus, Levis, Macys, Michael Kors, PayPal and Starwood starts filling their feed.

Following in the footsteps of Twitter and Pinterest, Instagram has created ads that feature a sponsored label, this time in the top corner. Users can click for more info about the ad and give direct feedback if the content is not relevant. The company will use its own Instagram data, along with profile information from Facebook for those users that have it, in order to target the content.

“Our focus with every product we build is to make Instagram a place where people come to connect and be inspired,” Instagram said on its website. “Building Instagram as a business will help us better serve the global—and ever growing—Instagram community, while maintaining the simplicity you know and love.”

The company reminded users that it will not be using their Instagram content as advertising. Although people were initially sceptical about seeing ads on the platform, a report from Unruly, a global social marketing platform, has revealed that 40 per cent of the 1,000 most shared videos on Instagram are already made by brands.