There Are A Lot More More Ads On Instagram Now
Feel like Instagram has more ads than ever? It’s not just you.
Facebook executives last year instructed Instagram to “roughly double” the number of ads in the app, according to a new report in The Information.
The report offers a detailed accounting of the many ways Facebook has exerted more control over Instagram over the last two years, including the company’s plan to rename the app and mess with Instagram’s traffic. But one of the most telling details is that Facebook managers told Instagram’s ad team to seriously ramp up the number of advertisements in the app “toward the end of last year.”
During a company earnings call last October, Mark Zuckerberg described Instagram’s Explore section as an “opportunity” to increase the app’s ad load. Instagram added ads to Explore, then the only major section of the app to still be ad-free, in June.
There have been a number of reports on the mounting tensions between Facebook and Instagram ever since the photo app’s two founders abruptly resigned last year.
But for Facebook, its concerns are about more than mere pettiness. The company is reportedly worried that Instagram could one day eclipse the main Facebook app in popularity. That’s a problem because the majority of Facebook’s ad revenue come from its main app, not from Instagram — at least for now. And The Information now reports Facebook wants to bring Instagram’s revenue number much closer to Facebook’s.
Since Instagram only has a limited number of places it can put ads — right now in Stories, the feed, and Explore — the company will also rely heavily on commerce in order to make that happen. The app has been experimenting with in-app shopping features and has reportedly worked on a standalone shopping app.
Instagram has said it’s still early days for shopping, though, and only a few companies are able to use its new checkout features.
For now, it’s still all about those ads.