Advertising seems to be cluttering most forms of media we consume daily, including our favorite: social media. Facebook is surrounded by personal advertisements, Twitter is filled with promoted tweets, and Pinterest lets the users do the advertising. Instagram, a social network dedicated to images and short videos, is now hopping on the advertising bandwagon. Instagram has recently signed a deal valued around $40 million dollar with Omnicom Group Inc.
This deal means that Instagram users will begin seeing advertisements within their news feed for certain Omnicom clients, such as AT&T and Pepsi. The advertisements will look similar to native Instagram posts, supposedly making them less intrusive to users. It is already known that Instagram has been a platform for indirect advertising and celebrity endorsements, but this deal will intensify the sense of sponsored advertising on the particular social media.
Instagram has experimented with sponsored advertisements recently with brands such as Michael Kors and Ben and Jerry’s. The reviews from users was mixed. Some felt like advertisements were entering into a place they felt as if they owned, while some felt like it was an inevitable conclusion.
Instagram is a unique social media in that many use it to gauge their self-worth, even more so than other social media. Instagram is their place to build self-esteem as well as build or tear down other’s self-esteem, and now this “personal space” for doing so is being subjected to advertising.
Many have acknowledged the promise of the deal with Omnicom. The deal is flexible in that Instagram gets a say in which clients Omnicom promotes and the format in which they do so. Instagram wants to make sure the advertisements fit the platform because they want to stay true to their users. Some might think this is impossible, while others might believe it is irrelevant. Ultimately advertisements infiltrate all forms of media, and maybe it was just Instagram’s turn.
Will Instagram be able to stay “true” to their users and advertise for Omnicom’s clients at the same time? Does it even matter?
– Rachel Gracy