Social media is reaching a tipping point in posts overrun by ads and sponsored content. Users are continually being directed away from personal photo feeds and towards other social network aspects.
Now Instagram announced that they would incorporate ads into the Explore page. Explore, is an algorithmically generated stream of content that exposes users to new accounts that they may not follow. However, that stream will be evolving to house ads. The ads will not appear in the top of the Explore gallery, but will become visible as a user interacts with a post, leading to a feed of more content and ads.
Why is Instagram motivated to make this move? #moulah #ofcourse.
eMarketer states that “time spent on Instagram is projected to rise, from 27 minutes in 2019 to 28 minutes in 2020.” Though while this is a great opportunity for advertisers to have more exposure, it also becomes an overdone cautionary tale on how oversaturation of media may actually backfire on brands.
At the very least, brand can combat this as in any medium — offer something of value. Either literally, via promotional pricing, or figuratively, via clever, and hopefully curated content. And while picture driven platforms like Instagram can be perfect forums to offer up willing, and possibly thankful eyeballs, there does come a point when too much selling results in a glazed over gaze.