The first ad debuts on Instagram, courtesy of Michael Kors

Female users in the US will see the ad regardless of whether they follow the designer

Instagram's first official ad, from fashion designer Michael Kors.
Instagram's first official ad, from fashion designer Michael Kors.

It's official: Instagram now has ads, and the first one appeared Friday courtesy of fashion designer Michael Kors.

A colorful image of a luxury watch sitting on a table appeared on the photo-sharing app Friday, an Instagram spokesman confirmed. It was shown to women in the U.S., regardless of whether they were following the brand.

Instagram began testing ads last week, but the Michael Kors post is the first branded advertisement to officially run on the service. More ads are on the way, Instagram said, but the company did not specify when or how often.

Facebook bought Instagram last year for roughly US$ 1 billion, when the app had practically zero revenue. Since then Facebook has made significant progress in monetizing its own site on mobile, and Instagram appears to be its next area of focus. The aforementioned ad trial on the app encompassed 10 different companies, Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg said earlier this week during the company's third-quarter earnings call.

Ads on Instagram will be labeled as such with the word "Sponsored" in the upper-right corner. By clicking on the "..." in the lower-right corner, users can hide the ad after it appears, and provide feedback to Instagram about what they didn't like about it. This feedback, according to Instagram, will let the app deliver more relevant ads to users.

Friday's ad is a still photograph, but ads will also appear on Instagram in video form. The ads will be designed to fit in naturally with people's feeds, Instagram and Facebook have said. "Ads should fit the format of the product they're part of," Facebook's Sandberg recently said.

Compared to Facebook's 1.19 billion monthly active users, Instagram is small, with 150 million active users, according to Facebook. But the app's popularity is strong, so it could become a lucrative place for ads, if Facebook doesn't drive away users in the process.

Zach Miners covers social networking, search and general technology news for IDG News Service. Follow Zach on Twitter at @zachminers. Zach's e-mail address is zach_miners@idg.com

Join the CMO newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Supporting Association

Blog Posts

Is your content marketing missing the mark?

Does it ever seem like the content you create falls flat on its face or that the leads you’re generating aren’t worth following up?

Dan Ratner

managing director, uberbrand

​ Creating a purpose-driven brand

So you want to be a brand with purpose. But what does it actually mean to build a brand with real meaning?

Paul Chappell

Partner and managing director, Brand + Story

Customer experience crisis: Proactively mitigating the risk of broken promises

Last Friday, three weeks after United Airline’s spectacular customer experience disaster, customers received a letter from the company’s CEO, Oscar Munoz.

Grate post, thanks for the post.No matter what your business is, if you do no not rank among the top most search results of Google, Yahoo...

Rahul

Image intelligence:10 must-see infographics for marketers

Read more

Thank you Shane Blandford for carrying my Smarketing vision into KM !

Peter Strohkorb

​CMO Interview: Why aligning sales and marketing drives innovation at Konica Minolta

Read more

Thanks for helping me putting those threads of thoughts together. Simplification and connection - neat idea.

Mark Bayly

Tips from IAG on how to craft human-centred design

Read more

The problem with Box is that they made a couple of big mistakes - they first hired a bunch of unprepared kids and gave them big roles and...

Tim Woods

CMO interview: Why Box's marketing chief is rewarding staff for failing

Read more

At this point, being hit hard will also be subject for a detailed study. In honesty, too early to tell but there are precedents to follow...

Sean Lindeman

Australian Government to abolish 457 visa program

Read more

Latest Podcast

More podcasts

Sign in