Phew! Instagram Just Put Ads in One of Its Last Ad-Free Places
We knew this day would come.
On Tuesday, Instagram announced that it will begin using the Explore tab as a way to show ads to users. The ads won’t show up in the main grid. Instead, once a user clicks on a post from Explore, Instagram will serve ads in the discovery feed users scroll through from that post.
Ads already appear in the home and story feeds, with more volume and more types of ads than ever. Explore had been, until Tuesday, one of the (surprisingly) last places on Instagram that didn’t have ads.
But many foresaw change a comin’. During an earnings call in October, Mark Zuckerberg hinted that the Explore tab was an “opportunity” for more ad placement.
Zuckerberg notes that Instagram users spend about 20 percent of their time in the Explore tab, which doesn’t have ads, says that’s an “opportunity” sooo…get ready for ads in Instagram Explore $FB
— Karissa Bell (@karissabe) October 30, 2018
Instagram’s announcement notes that Explore is where people come to discover something new, so that it’s a natural fit for advertisers.
“This is an opportunity to be part of what’s culturally relevant and trending while reaching new audiences who are looking to discover something new,” the blog post reads.
Previously, getting a post on Explore was a holy grail achievement for Instagram accounts seeking to grow their followings. Attaining that prime placement required some magical combination of virality and smart hashtag usage. Now, brands can pay to reach you there.