Here come the ads: Instagram provide details “sponsored” media ads in feeds

Instagram (s fb) has been discussing ads for some time now — most notably in a dustup that occurred last year over the company’s new, ad-friendly Terms of Use policy. Now, users will begin to see ads more regularly in the coming weeks, according to a blog post from the company.

“Our focus with every product we build is to make Instagram a place where people come to connect and be inspired,” the post said. There will probably be a few questions about this at our Roadmap conference in a few weeks, when Om Malik will interview Instagram co-founder and CEO Kevin Systrom.

The sample ad offered by Instagram, which will begin to run in users’ feeds in the U.S. sometime this week, fits right in with traditional photo and video layouts. In fact, the only thing particularly distinctive about the ad versus more traditional content is the “Sponsored” notice in the top-right corner. Of course, this form of native advertising is de rigueur on the internet — particularly seen in the Sponsored Stories peddled by parent company Facebook.


If users would rather not see the ad, the post said that users will be able to “hide” ads from the feed — although it’s unlikely that it would be a permanent fix to all ads. The post also emphasized that every user owns their own Instagram content — a sign that maybe personal photos won’t be sold for advertisements in the same way that Facebook and Google now work.

The arrival of ads are is not a shocking or out-of-place move for Instagram, because money talks. But it’s likely going to be met with resistance by a faction of Instagram users — especially evidenced in the comments that are on the blog itself. For what it’s worth, Instagram seems highly conscious of bringing quality work to its advertisements, so perhaps the transition will not be as jarring as some fear.