When Instagram announced that U.S. users would soon begin seeing native format ads in their feeds, many feared that the photo filtering and sharing network would go the way of its evil stockholder-driven owner, Facebook. One month later, though, Instagram reports that the ads have seen early success despite the public’s suspicions: so far 5% of of ad views have led to likes, according to Instagram co-founder and CEO Kevin Systrom, who seems to be pleased with the results. “That’s pretty tremendous considering most of the ads we see on the internet we ignore,” Systrom said.
Creating Native Format Ads Instagrammers Enjoy
Wednesday morning at the GigaOm Roadmap conference, TechCrunch reports, Systrom talked about Instagram’s new ads and the company’s future, explaining that Instagram plans to roll out ads slowly to ensure high quality and continued user satisfaction. When asked how ads were going on Instagram, Systrom replied:
Are they making us hundreds of millions of dollars per day? No, but that wasn’t the goal. We announced we’d take it slow doing it the right way. We measure the ‘how it’s going’ by how the roll out is going and how we’re making this transition.”
So far the ads that have been released to Instagram users have been high quality, like this ad featuring a gold Michael Kors watch flanked by fancy china and colorful macaroons. If Instagram ads continue to look this good they could continue to see high engagement – and Instagram can charge some healthy sums for the ads.
The Future of Instagram
During his talk Systrom suggested that Instagram’s current hashtag and people search were useful, but not useful enough. He wants people to be able to find interesting things without having to be a whizz at hashtag search. Systrom made it clear that in the future Instagram aims to improve search capabilities on its network. He asked:
How do we surface live events overseas? How do we tell you there’s a riot going on in London? How would we let you tune into the World Series? How would we let you tune into what’s going on right now, what interests you? How do you find the things on Instagram that will keep you coming back?”
Systrom also hinted that Instagram is interested in location-based offerings for users. Judging by Systrom’s tone, it’s fair to expect Instagram to release an enriched Explore feature (perhaps with GPS-based suggestions) and improved search that allow you to find the things that are most relevant to you on Instagram right now.