Instagram is changing... again.
The photo and video sharing app will now play ads between "Stories," the feature on Instagram that debuted in August. It allows users to record videos that can be viewed for up to 24 hours.
Ads between Instagram Stories will be played in a fashion similar to ads on Snapchat. Short messages from companies will be seen between the Stories shared by a user's friends, and within the "Discover" tab designated for media entities.
Instagram, a Facebook-owned company, shared a demo with the New York Times. It showed what an Airbnb ad between two Stories would look like.
Instagram's vice president of business, James Quarles, indicated to the Times the app would roll out the ads gradually.
We'll watch it closely, but I think we'll introduce it and over time it will be expected just like on home feed — you see the sponsored logo and know ads are just a part of the experience. This is going to be another great part of the experience, and I do think you'll hear people say, 'I discovered this from this business because of this Story.'
Placing ads within the Stories is sure to generate more revenue for Instagram, which only a year and a half ago began allowing advertisers to place sponsored posts on users' timelines.
The big question, though, isn't about the money: The added revenue is more or less a given. The question is whether or not the user experience will be affected.
At least one industry expert who spoke to the Times didn't think so.
David Cohen, an ad-buying firm executive, said,
As a user, you might be feeling it on Instagram, because it's gone from basically nothing to something in maybe a year's time. I don't think they've stepped over the line as far as I can tell.
But even if the ads are perfectly implemented and avoid being intrusive, this latest move is likely to rub some users the wrong way. Why?
Not because of what it is, but because of what it isn't.
But they WILL have ads.
Citations: New York Times