Ads are coming to Instagram, whether you like it or not.
Advertisers are already salivating over the idea. Instagram offers a larger, more expressive palette than Facebook (Instagram’s corporate parent). On Facebook, advertisers are constrained by various requirements for headlines and URLs, all set inside a number of fixed boxes.
Instagram — at least for now — offers a relatively huge, blank, square canvas.
So TBG Digital, a social media marketing company that buys a lot of ads on Facebook for clients such as Dell, Zynga and Heineken, produced this conceptual mock-up of how ads on Instagram might look.
Note that it revolves beautiful imagery and photography. Instagram’s main problem with advertising is not technical. It’s easy to get ads into people’s photo feeds. Rather, it’s about creative standards: Instagram needs to find a way to only allow companies to promote good-looking material in Instagram, at scale.
There are about 1 million marketers on Facebook, in one way or another. At that kind of scale, individually approving each ad and photo likely won’t be feasible once Instagram opens the floodgates to advertisers.
For comparison, here’s a typical ad on Facebook:
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