Initially regarded as a platform reserved for artsy types and hipsters, Instagram quickly made waves in the marketing world before it ever opened its doors to advertising.
Hashtag placement, product placement, lifestyle branding – whatever you want to call it, celebrities have been making obscene amounts of money through their Instagram accounts for a long time now. Equally, companies were quick to maximize their exposure through filtered pictures positioned to represent real life. Though Instagram has been a hub of marketing activity for over 2 years, up until now it had been one of the last platforms that wasn’t advertising or “sponsored post” centric. This will now change rapidly, as Instagram has finally taken action to capitalize on its own worth.
Announcing this morning that the platform will now be supporting a similar system to Facebook’s sponsored posts, Instagram now invites any sized company across thirty countries to advertise on their feeds.
The platform is now projected to make back the money Facebook spent on it during its acquisition. This year alone, Emarketer predicts Instagram will generate $595 million in advertising revenue alone.
Enabling marketers to target adverts to extremely specific audiences from parent company, Facebook – companies are already predicted to pay more for the service than they would on other platforms. If that wasn’t enough to position Instagram as an advertising heavyweight, the platform’s secret weapon is in its obscene click through rates, which are two and a half times higher than other social media platforms.
Fortune.com make a great point, however. “Instagram must proceed carefully as it introduces more ads onto the platform. Its users, all 300 million of them, are a passionate bunch. That passion can easily turn into outrage.” Facebook have had to rethink their pages and sponsored posts algorithms several times in order to accommodate the user feedback. That said, Instagram has undertaken a significant amount of testing to make sure that users subjected to advertising remain loyal, pre-empting any problems with retention.