There are many ways Instagram can function as the most annoying wake-up call ever: Incriminating drunk photos you forgot you posted, #TBTs from less than a week ago, use of the hashtag #cleaneating. But few things have been so rage-inducing as the following, which was viewed by everyone who scrolled through their feed with due diligence this morning:
What is it, besides a guy with way too much time on his hands and room at his breakfast table? It’s an advertisement. And soon you’ll be seeing them all over your feed, as part of Instagram’s plan to roll out sponsored content. The caption on the offending ‘gram makes the following
promise threat to all users of the app:
A few weeks ago, we shared our plans to introduce advertising on Instagram. Today, we want to be the first to show you an example of what an advertisement on Instagram looks like. We’re starting with a handful of businesses that are already great community members to make sure the ads you see are creative and engaging. If you see an ad that doesn’t interest you, you can tap the “…” in the bottom right corner to hide it and tell us what you didn’t like. This will help us bring you more interesting ads over time. You can also tap the “Sponsored” label above an ad at any time to learn more about ads on Instagram. As always, you own your own photos and videos. The introduction of advertising won’t change this.
So far fashion brands Michael Kors, Burberry (duh), Adidas Hoops, Levis and Macys, along with Lexus, Whotels, General Electric and Paypal, are among those who will soon be waking you up with pictures of watches, leggings, denim jackets, exotic landscapes and terrifying GE90 engines. They’ll appear just like a normal photo, except there will be a “Sponsored” label where the time stamp usually goes.
As you can imagine, the internet is PISSED (you can view a summary of the prevailing sentiment on the original offending Instagram here). However, we can’t say we didn’t see it coming, and for those who bother to voice their dissatisfaction by tapping the “…” the initiative doesn’t have to be life-ruining. Sure, no filter can create an ad as magical as those you see in the pages of Vogue, but some of them aren’t so bad. Take a look at the sample ads below.