A few weeks after Instagram announced that its U.S. user base would soon see ads popping up in their feeds, the company today provided an update on the matter and share an example of what these ads will look like.
Instagram says that the sample ad you see above will begin appearing in feeds this week to prepare users for the real deal. The ad features a "Sponsored" tag instead of a time stamp as well as a dots button below the image that allows users to hide an ad and provide feedback to help Instagram serve up more interesting ads in the future.
Just as Instagram said before, the company is planning to kick off its advertising efforts with "a handful of brands that are already great members of the Instagram community." Some of the companies that Instagram says will take part in the initial wave of advertising are adidas, Ben & Jerry's, Burberry, General Electric, Lexus, Levi's, Macy's, Michael Kors, PayPal and Starwood. Instagram is also very explicit in explaining that even though the photo-sharing service is gaining ads, users will still own the photos and videos that they upload.
We'll have to wait until the real Instagram ads begin rolling out before making any final judgments, but this sample ad doesn't look bad. It's good that the company is clearly highlighting the fact that the content is an ad, and it's worth noting that tapping that "Sponsored" tag will display information on just how Instagram advertising works, so users can educate themselves a bit if they're curious about the ads. There's still no word on exactly when users will start to see the real ads, but at least now they'll be easily be able to spot the ads once they do begin filtering into feeds.