Instagram finally rolls out Ads
…First Instagram Ad Showcases Designer Michael Kors
NEW YORK – The wait is (unfortunately) over: Instagram today started rolling out ads to its photo feed.
Don’t be surprised when fashion designer Michael Kors’s Parisian-inspired jewelry-gram pops up in between filtered photos of Sunday brunch or your family pet.
Instagram parent company Facebook confirmed the designer’s image (pictured) as the first of its new advertisements, which will appear even for those users who don’t follow the brand. There is no word on the frequency with which new ads will arrive.
Hoping to remain as unobtrusive as possible while still earning some extra cash, Instagram intends for the ads to feel natural — like you’re skimming through images posted by rich, stylish friends.
“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,” the company said in October.
A week-long preview period offered select U.S. users a glimpse of the new advertisements’ look and feel: an almost identical aesthetic to regular Instagram posts, but with the word “sponsored” in the top right corner, where the time stamp would usually be.
The Kors ad, which features a $225 gold watch from the designer’s Timeless collection, garnered more than 94,000 likes, and a horde of angry comments, many of which include foul language.
“@michaelkors die and rot in hell advertiser, [because] you advertise on Instagram I will never give you business,” user alexanderlatham wrote.
“DO YOU NOT MAKE ENOUGH MONEY!?!?!?!” cutestofsonic12 posted in a message directed at Instagram.
Users were similarly outraged when Instagram first announced plans for ads, threatening to close accounts, and complaining that they were not consulted on the decision. Some came to Instagram’s defense, arguing that people couldn’t complain about a free service.
If you are truly offended by Kors’s ornamental advertisement, or any future unwanted sponsored posts, just hide it. Similar to how Facebook handles ad outrage, Instagram users can tap the “…” option in the corner, then choose to hide the image. But you also must report back with a reason for discarding it.
Moreover, Instagram promised that “you own your photos and videos,” and that “the introduction of advertising won’t change this.”
Other early advertisers will include Adidas, Ben & Jerry’s, Burberry, General Electric, Levi’s, Lexus, Macy’s, PayPal, and Starwood, according to CNET.