It was only a matter of time before ads found their way to Instagram, the beloved photo service with 60 million users globally. As with old age or an oil change, Instagram users have long dreaded the inevitable, in this case having their robust and sacred community infiltrated by the likes of Tide and Cialis.
The change is imminent. Instagram announced Thursday that users in the United States will see sponsored photos (with video soon to follow) popping into their feeds starting next week. The ads aren't so different from the kinds of native advertisements that show up on Facebook, which purchased Instagram in April 2012.
And — somewhat unsurprisingly! — the ads don't look completely terrible.
Subscribe to The Week
Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.
That's likely on the high-end of things, and of course, not all of them will look like that. But you get the point.
Instagram says the ads will appear with a tiny little "Sponsored" label in the upper-right corner. You can tap the "…" button to hide an ad you don't really like. You can also scroll right past it, should you prefer.
The New York Times reports that the initial batch of advertisers include Adidas, Ben & Jerry's, General Electric, Macy's, Lexus, and Levi's, among others.
"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," writes Instagram. Here's a taste, for example, if one of those things you already enjoy happens to include pants.
Create an account with the same email registered to your subscription to unlock access.