Depending on which way you look at it, either you are thrilled about the announcement of Instagram advertisements, or you are far from thrilled. If you are the latter, you scroll through Instagram to take a break from real life and gaze into the multitude of pictures of those you follow doing all of the things you wish you were doing - wine tasting, sandy toes on a beach, playing with puppies and kittens..the list goes on. The thought of a "buy this, click this!" picture interrupting your day dream disgusts you. However, If you are the former, you most likely you spend your days in marketing, advertising, and/or PR, and the announcement of Instagram ads came of no shock to you. From the moment Facebook acquired Instagram, we all knew it was coming. At the beginning of the month, Instagram announced "you may begin seeing an occasional ad in your Instagram feed," to users in the United States. Just on Friday, Instagram posted it's first 'sponsored post' (shown in the image to the left) - revealing that the ads will show up identical to others' pictures, with the small difference of the word "Sponsored" taking over in the top right corner where the time stamp usually lays. The idea of these ads are to be as visually stimulating as the rest of the photos on your feed - filters included. Instagram is rolling out the first of the advertisements with brands who are already on Instagram - Levi's, Lexus, Ben & Jerry's, Paypal, Macy's, and General Electric. With Instagram and Facebook being on the same team, this gives Instagram even more data to see who you follow and what you like - to better find ads that are congruent with users tastes. As most advertisements on social media platforms, users will have the option to hide the post from their feed and report back to Instagram if they do not like the specific ad or if they find it offensive. Instagram reminded users on their blog "As always, you own your own photos and videos. The introduction of advertising won't change this." This is in response to the addition of the the sentence "You agree that a business may pay Instagram to display your photos in connection with paid or sponsored content or promotions without any compensation to you," to their terms of service last December, causing an uproar from users who didn't fully understand the addition of the sentence. If you are neither thrilled about or dreading Instagram advertisements and are thinking to yourself, "this doesn't affect me," then I ask that you get one thing out of this post - social media is becoming more important in major search engine algorithms that affect the entire SEO and local search landscape. That being said - if you own a business or promote a brand, you must be active in social platforms, engaging with fans and customers, developing relevant content, and using analytics to drive better marketing decisions. We know this can be overwhelming and daunting, if you are stuck or unsure what direction to take, contact WSD. We utilize best practice SEO and social marketing to increase our clients' web sites' visibility within various search engines. Read more about our internet marketing services.