Ads Coming to Instagram

Its official: ads are coming to Instagram. The social network will begin rolling out occasional ads to a selection of users in the US over the next couple of months. 

Its part of “building Instagram into a sustainable business,” according to a statement on the Instagram for Business blog – something which has been a while coming, since Facebook acquired the company last April.

Facebook joint head of sales Claire Valoti hinted at the news in her talk at Mobile Marketing Live yesterday. Valoti said that Instagram is “a very different platform” to Facebook and that its ad offering would need to reflect that.

The details are still a little thin on the ground, but it seems Instagram will stick to native ad formats, with users seeing images and videos from brands they havent chosen to follow – an approach thats roughly in line with what Valoti called the social networks “best picture wins” mindset. 

Understandably, Instagram is being careful to assure users that introducing ads wont be too disruptive to their experience:

“Our aim is to make any advertisements you see feel as natural to Instagram as the photos and videos many of you already enjoy from your favorite brands. We want these ads to be enjoyable and creative in much the same way you see engaging, high-quality ads when you flip through your favorite magazine,” reads the statement. “We’ll also make sure you have control. If you see an ad you don’t like, you’ll be able to hide it and provide feedback about what didn’t feel right.”

“As always, you own your own photos and videos. The introduction of advertising won’t change this.”