But first, let me take a sponsored selfie

“Instagram is a fun and quirky way to share your life with friends through a series of pictures. Snap a photo with your mobile phone, then choose a filter to transform the image into a memory to keep around forever”

 This is what Instagram web page says about the mobile phone app used by over 100 million active users every month. Most of the users are just normal people sharing pictures of their lives but you can also find your favorite celebrities, clothing brands, radio stations… almost everything you can think of.

A couple of years ago the social media giant Facebook bought Instagram for 1billion dollars. As we all know, Facebook is also known for its many sponsored advertisement and SURPRISE! now they are coming also to Instagram! Some sponsored ads have already reached millions of Instagram users in the US, but how do they work?

 Michael Kors does it first

The idea is that the sponsored ad will appear mkon your feed even if you weren’t following the account. The only thing that separates these pictures from the “normal pictures” is the small text in the upright corner which says “Sponsored”. The high fashion brand Michel Kors was one of the first who tried sponsored advertising in Instagram.

 Sponsored advertising in Instagram is all about the pictures, they need to stand out. Instagram wants to keep its clean quality look and says that they are only trying to publish “high-quality and engaging ads”. This picture of the Michael Kors’ sponsored ad is a great example of what kind of pictures Instagram wants to publish, high-quality pictures all about the lifestyle.

 I think that this is a great possibility for some companies who already have a good image to advertise themselves. Let’s look at the numbers of this great Michael Kors sponsored ad campaign. They are quite big, in the first 18 hours after publishing the picture, the Instagrman account of Michael Kors (@michaelkors) received 370% more likes compared to the average numbers. The account gained over 33 000 new followers. Despite all these new followers and likes, it is not surprising that 20% of the comments in this picture were negative. Many people were annoyed and I totally understand that. I also think that for every user who bothered to comment something negative about the picture, there are at least three people thinking the same thing without commenting it.  See the link below to check some other Michael Kors Instagram ads and numbers of the increased followers.


 However, I haven’t seen these Instagram ads in my Instagram feed yet, but they do annoy me already even more than Facebook ads. I’m used to Facebook with ads and I can easily ignore them, but in Instagrman they will jump right in to my face – or that’s how I feel. When the Ben & Jerry’s (which is one of the companies that Instagram has this sponsored ad contract) ads will come to my Instagram I’ll probably end up poor and fat. Thanks a lot Instagram.

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2 Responses to But first, let me take a sponsored selfie

  1. magdalenasipari says:

    Great blogpost, with very interesting observations! When I heard about Facebook buying Instagram I became very worried about the increase of sponsored advertisement on Instagram. So far I haven’t seen any of it either, but I’m sure it’s only a matter of time before this social media will also be filled with unrequited adverts. It is true that advertisements have created more ways to get directly to the possible customer and basically haunt them everywhere. I believe companies need to create some different way to reach their consumers. Even though if they invade every kind of social media to get their products and information about it directly to people, it also frustrates them a lot. We’ll have to see how the situation with ads will develop on Instagram – who knows, maybe it’ll be a more successful channel to promote products. Then again, it can also be a big flop.

  2. eveliinaf says:

    I haven’t heard about those sponsored pictures on Instagram, lets see when those will appear in every feed. Actually I don’t think that this is as annoying as ads in Facebook or Twitter, if sponsored pictures can be targeted based on e.g. likes and follows. In Facebook I’m contact with friends and people I know, but in Instagram I also wanna see just nice pictures, so one or two sponsored pictures will not bother me if those are similar what I follow. But like I said, one or two won’t bother but if every other picture is sponsored it’s too much.

    Facebook is already effecting on Instagram, so I’m little bit afraid when they are also putting ads on Whatsapp, since Facebook also bought that.

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