Instagram inserts ads in UK feeds powered by Facebook data (Wired UK)


Instagram users
in the UK will start to see adverts appearing in
their feeds from today onwards. While the ads will supposedly be
subtle and attractive, they will also be highlighted to indicate
that they are paid-for content.

Initially the ads will only be from “a handful of specially
selected brands”, which include Starbucks, Cadbury, Channel 4,
Rimmel London, Sony Music, Estee Lauder and Waitrose. All are
high-profile, quality brands that people in the UK will recognise,
and Instagram seems to be using them to set a precedent.

Many users will probably be displeased at the news and wonder if
the retro photography network is about to go the same way as Facebook, which of
course is its parent company, in bombarding us with targeted ads
from all kinds of sources. Instagram maintains though that ads will
be rolled out slowly and will focus on delivering “a small number
of beautiful, high-quality photos and videos” that will be akin to
the kind you might see while flicking through a posh magazine.

“People come to Instagram to express their creativity and to be
inspired, and businesses have always been a meaningful part of that
experience. Our teams have partnered closely with a handful of
brands who are already great members of our community in the UK to
create beautiful sponsored images,” say James Quarles, Instagram’s
global head of business and brand development.

All of the ads have been vetted by the network have been vetted
to make sure they meet the “high-quality magazine criteria” an
Instagram spokesperson told “We work with each
advertiser on Instagram to review their creative and make sure it’s
up to standard. We will continue doing this going forward to ensure
ads continue to fit in with the aesthetic of the platform.”

In order to make sure users see relevant ads, Instagram will use
likes and follows, along with geotargeting, to determine which ads
pop up in people’s feeds. If you have a Facebook, Instagram will
also use details you have provided to the social network, including
gender, age and interests, to decide how which ads to target you
with. This will happen automatically if you used the same email
address to sign up for Instagram and Facebook accounts. According
to Instagram, this is “to ensure Instagrammers receive relevant and
interesting ads without making them fill out more information about
themselves on Instagram.”

While advertising such as this does feel rather invasive, we
won’t really be seeing anything we don’t already. We often give
direct permission to brands to advertise to us already on Instagram
— as we do on Facebook — by following or liking that brand.
Starbucks alone as 37,510,507 Facebook likes, meaning each and
every one of those people will see promotional content from the
coffee behemoth. They may now also see promotional Starbucks
content on Instagram, presuming they also don’t already follow the
company there.

If you follow any celebrities or high-profile bloggers on
Instagram, you may also be being advertised to without realising
it. It’s very lucrative for those with high numbers of followers to
post pictures of themselves wearing a certain pair of trainers.
Obviously, the time has come for Instagram to dip its own hand in
the advertising pot of gold. At least, unlike on Facebook, we won’t
just be seeing a big bunch of ads from every Tom, Dick or Harry
willing to pay the social network a little dosh.

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23 September 2014 | 2:37 pm – Source:


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