Instagram Advertising Platform Adapts Model

Over the past couple of months Instagram has been discussing and toying with revamping its advertising model. You will remember that Facebook bought the photo-sharing app in 2012 for a staggering $1bn. Zuckerberg pledged to continue to develop the app as its own separate brand.

You can read this statement in many ways. Instagram will not merge, nor never will merge, with Facebook*. But cross-posting will be as seamless as possible. You could also look at it in a more cynical light. Instagram will have to pay its own way and will not be allowed to rest on the piles of cash generated by Facebook.

This self-sufficiency looks to have been put into action, with advertising on the platform becoming ever more prominent. It was only at the tail end of last year (2014) that advertising hit the app in the UK. This came after a rollout in the States the year before. Instagram made the following statement on their plans with advertising:



“We’re starting slow with advertising to make sure we take time to get the experience right for our ad partners and the Instagram community. We’ll let you know when we’re ready to expand to more ad partners.”

This advertising process seems to have picked up speed this year, with the platform announcing a new type of advertising where there is an interactive carousel of imagery. A feature Instagram have imaginatively called Carousel Advertising. The below gif is an example of it as seen in Make It Rain HQ (I can’t apologise enough for the orientation of the gif):

The necessity not to overdo advertising and in one turn switch users off the platform is high. But as any user of the app will know ads are few and far between, seeing one every other day or so. As such, with 300 million active users as of December 2014, and only a small window for advertisers you can imagine the price is pretty high.

How much is Instagram advertising?

One response to this question found on Quora states:



“Instagram is very secretive about the cost of advertising, but figures of between $350,000 and US $1 million per month have been mentioned by executives.”

Not to take this one man at his word, the Instagram blog says:



“We’re starting slow with advertising to make sure we take time to get the experience right for our ad partners and the Instagram community. We’ll let you know when we’re ready to expand to more ad partners.”

That is to say call us for pricing, you might be shocked.

So this may, for the mean time at least, be out of reach to the small-medium business owners looking to invest in advertising on the platform.

But watch this space it appears that Instagram are adapting and opening up their app for advertisers.

*DISCLAIMER: Don’t hold me to that.