Friday, 18 October 2013

Should Instagram Insta-Regret Their Ad's?

With over 80 million users seemingly popping up out of nowhere, Instagram is the latest and greatest in the social media craze. Started in 2010 this photo-sharing platform has changed the way of picture sharing forever.

Until recently this social media platform has been virtually ad free – yes, businesses have used it to share images of their products and what not but the overt placement of advertisement were nowhere to be found. To me this was a huge selling point. Spending a lot of my time online it was reassuring to know I could always go to Instagram for a clutter free experience but this is no longer the case. In early October Instagram announced that they would be jumping on the advertising bandwagon and would start to implement them immediately.

To many of us this did not come like a shock. All of our beloved platforms must become commercialized at some point in order to make money – but it never makes the transition any easier. With information hubs like Statigram we were able to see the value in our posts very early on in Instagram's creation. It's sites like this why I believe this change has taken so long. The point of ads are to see value in a post but when it was so readily available it slowed down the need for this advertising change.

From a marketing perspective this was the smartest move Instagram could make. Its now been active and thriving for three years and it's time to start making some money. Before this change brands could make a profile, share images of the brands persona, products, staff members, locations etc. and have users opt-in to follow their image feed for FREE! As a marketing tool this was genius – but now not only can they have all the above (still for free) but they can also pay to have ads pop up on users feeds that do not currently follow them. This could drive traffic to their page or simply sell a product. 

I am left wondering what other users feel about this change. Unfortunately, due to the field I’m in I am forced to see both sides and I do see where they are coming from. This change not only makes Instagram a stronger marketing tool but a more valuable business overall. Good thing I love you Instagram! I guess we will have to make this transition together. Like it or not!

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