Oh, ads. How you always find your way into everything we know and love: Pandora, Spotify, Facebook, etc. Raise your hand if you love ads!
Instagram is the latest to jump on the ad train, if you haven't noticed "sponsored" posts popping up in your feed, they have "Sponsored" in the upper right corner:
Personally, I am a huge supernatural genre movie buff - a-la the Crimson Peak promo - and my Facebook likes would indicate that, which plays a strategic part in sponsored post targeting. This shouldn't come as a surprise, as Facebook's mega $1 billion purchase of Instagram would come with investor pressure to turn a profit. You can read more about that in this Fortune article.
As a user, this poses the inevitable question: Would you pay for Instagram? For services like Spotify, this was a no brainer - at least to me. I want to listen to all my jams, un-interrupted and unlimited. But is the same return on our investment provided if we pay for Instagram? On the other hand, are the ads that disturbing and annoying?
Right now, the ads on Instagram aren't too present - I usually see about one every 10 posts, sometimes less often. What could get the app in trouble, though, is the permission it gives to its advertisers versus its users. While users are allowed to post only 15 seconds of video, advertisers are allowed 30 seconds.
Some could argue that advertisers are paying for the spot, so that warrants certain privileges, but it kind of puts a bad rep on the app: Does it care more for paid partners than its users? By this point, though, we should all be used to our favorite apps and services coming with either some sort of fee or consistent display of ads. I'm still on my Candy Crush binge and there are ads popping up all over the place, in addition to my paying $1 every other minute for a new life. #WorthIt
What do you think - should Instagram tone it down on the ads, or would you be willing to pay for no ads at all? Word on the street is that users on Instagram are almost three times as likely to click through an ad than other social platforms. Tweet me your thoughts @lizprugh.