Can someone tell me when advertising became a dirty word? At their best, ads are entertaining and enlightening. They introduce us to new movies, and products and places to visit. They offer us good deals on cool stuff and they herald the coming of the holidays.
Not all ads are good ads. I get that. And sometimes they do interrupt a perfectly good TV show or app experience or video – but even in the worst cases, it’s a few seconds of boredom and it’s done. But when it comes to a graphic ad – there’s not even a waste or time. Not interested, just move along to the next item.
Yet, once again, a social media company is introducing the ad concept as if it was a coming plague.
Yesterday, Instagram posted a carefully worded piece introducing users to the first ad. That’s it there – the man sitting at the long table. You know it’s an ad because it has the word sponsored in the top corner.
If you’re in the United States, you’ll see the sample ad above sometime in the coming week. This is a one-time ad from the Instagram team that’s meant to give you a sense for the look and feel of the ads you will see.
Really? So this is like the test poke before I give you the actual shot in the arm. Just a little something to slowly ease you into this momentous change in your social media life. (Insert image of me rolling my eyes.)
They go on to say,
We want ads to be creative and engaging, so we’re starting with just a handful of brands that are already great members of the Instagram community. If you see an ad that doesn’t interest you, you can tap the “…” below it to hide it and provide feedback about what you didn’t like. This will help us show you more interesting ads in the future.
As always, you own your own photos and videos. The introduction of advertising won’t change this.
So, just members of the elite club for now and no need to panic because you can make those ads go away in an instant. You’re in charge of your feed. Really.
As I write this, I realized that this is the second time in a few weeks I’ve gone on this rant, but I think it bears repeating. As long as we condition consumers to believe that ads are evil, they’re going to continue to see them as an intrusion. Everyone needs to make a living and advertisers are working very hard to make ads informative and fun. Let’s embrace that, shall we?
When you see that new Instagram ad, give it a “heart” for me, will you?