Facebook-owned photo-sharing app Instagram has released the first image of a sample Instagram advert that will appear in users' feeds soon, giving us a sneak peek into the new sponsored ads.
In early October, Instagram had announced that it would soon begin pushing out ads; however no additional details were available at the time. On Thursday, October 24, Instragram took the wraps off the sample ad, which looks like a regular Instagram post, but will be designated as "sponsored" content.
The Instagram ad shows a picture and a "sponsored" logo above it.
"This is a one-time ad from the Instagram team that's meant to give you a sense for the look and feel of the ads you will see. You'll know a photo or video is an advertisement when you see the "Sponsored" label where the time stamp normally would be. Tap this label to learn more about how advertising works on Instagram," explained Instagram in a blog post.
Instagram is starting off only with a few brands initially as it wants its ads to be "creative and engaging." Users will have the option to tap and hide the ad they are uninterested in and give a feedback as to what they did not like. This will in turn aid Instagram in providing more interesting ads in the future.
The select companies Instagram will be working with initially include Adidas, Ben & Jerry's, Burberry, GE, Levi's, Michael Kors, PayPal, Lexus, Macy's and Starwood Hotels.
"It looks like Instagram is being hyper cautious with this," said Rebecca Lieb, an industry analyst at the the Altimeter Group. "They have hand selected only 10 brands, and they have selected the brands based on the quality of their Instagram feeds."
With the new ads, Instagram will venture into monetizing the app which has 150 million active users. So far, Facebook has resisted from making Instagram a money generating medium.
"They can afford to wait. They have a very deep-pocketed wealthy parent," said Lieb. "They are going to be hyper cautious about the rollout."
However, even with Instagram rolling out ads, it asserts that users' videos or photos will not appear in the adverts and "As always, you own your own photos and videos. The introduction of advertising won't change this."