The first Instagram ad: Success!

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A few weeks ago, I was aimlessly scrolling through my Instagram feed in between classes when I noticed one post I was unfamiliar with. When did I start following Michael Kors?, I thought to myself. Then I saw “Sponsored” on the top right, something I had never seen before, and knew exactly what was going on. Instagram had finally launched their first ad! I remembered reading about it and wondering how it would play out. There it was!

At the time, questions were circling around in my head. Did every Instagram user also see an ad? Did they see this sparkling Michael Kors watch, or something else? I have to say, it definitely caught my attention and most others too. I scrolled through the comments and noticed people were confused as to why this showed up in their feed, not realizing the new addition to the ever-so-popular photo sharing app. Others were commenting on the beauty of the watch and how they wanted one. It was not only a beautiful watch, but a gorgeous photo in itself. It was extremely attractive and appealing, which is exactly what gains the user’s attention.

I started to get excited for more Instagram ads to come. I know that most people hate ads, but it’s fun for me to analyze them. I also wanted to see what else they would test in addition to Michael Kors. What other brands will hop onto this very smart bandwagon? With such a large and active Instagram user base, it’s a perfect way to subtly advertise – yet you know everyone will see it. It reminds me a lot of the Twitter promoted tweets. They are ads that are hidden into the usual concept of the company, not some annoying flashing banner ad.

It’s been a couple weeks now and the results are in! How well did Instagram do with its first ad? Very well! Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom announced at a recent conference that 5% of all views of the ad led to likes. Systrom added, “That’s pretty tremendous considering most of the ads we see on the internet we ignore.” In the end, this popular post gained 1800 comments, yet 20% were negative (which is understandable) and 1% had the intent to buy. Michael Kors also gained 16x more followers than a normal post would. For the first ad, Instagram is perfectly content with the outcome. They aren’t trying to gain millions of dollars at first, they are taking it slow and testing the waters.

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What do you think about Instagram ads? Yay or nay?

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