Instagram is opening the door to advertisers, who will have the option to link outside the app in sponsored posts on the app and website. Under the new approach, announced, buttons under a filtered photo will take users to a shopping site, a download page on the app store or a signup form for a newsletter.
Advertisements have always been a tricky proposition for Instagram, which has a reputation of authentic, personal sharing (even if it’s an authentic, personal picture of your lunch). The service’s first ads appeared in October 2013, but a buyout by Facebook gave the company some runway to build a more refined advertisement experience.
Instagram will tap into Facebook’s robust ad-targeting system to deliver relevant sponsored posts to users’ streams. The development is sure to be a boon for marketers, who already direct followers to external sites. Right now, they have to convince them to jump through hoops to get there by either going to the link on a profile page or entering in a shortened URL that can easily be mistyped.
According to the New York Times, Instagram users are more likely to like and comment on posts than users of other social networks are. Instagram and advertisers hope that propensity to tap will apply to sponsored posts, as well.