If you thought Instagram user experience is becoming annoying from the increasing number of ads served and the carousel photo issue, it’s about to get worse. The giant photo-sharing platform is facing enormous pressure from its parent company, Facebook and is getting even more ads.
Instagram has started running a test on a subset of users who will now be served two back to back ads when they scroll through Instagram Stories. The ads will come from different marketers instead of the usual one per a few Stories from the people you follow.
The aim of this test is to see if these ads will be a smoother experience for the 500 million daily users of Stories. It’s pretty obvious that you don’t need to scry into a witch ball to know that people will stop using Stories once these start to roll not only to the select users but the general Instagram audience if it ever goes live.
This comes after a recent report saying that Facebook is mounting pressure on Instagram to include more ads on the platform by doubling the number of ads users see. Instagram has already started showing ads on its Explore tab, but Facebook wants even more ads which will probably be served on Instagram’s main feed.
The report by The Information adds that Facebook executives are worried that Facebook’s success could be surpassed by Instagram’s own success. Facebook executives discussed that Instagram’s exponential growth relied on the parent’s company vast resources to become one of the fastest-growing apps in history and that it should return the favour by directing users back to Facebook.
"Behemoth firm smothers fast growing in-house innovation in bid to keep dying legacy business alive then gets out-competed by a nimble startup" is the oldest Silicon Valley story in the world.
Does Facebook realize that it's IBM in 1982 right now? https://t.co/6gYsWexVIU
— Michael T Sweeney (@mtsw) August 22, 2019
The execs even wanted to rename the app and had begun messing with Instagram’s traffic which led to co-founders leaving the company 11 months ago.
Super impressive piece from @alexeheath here, who reports on how Instagram has been dependent on FB, then surpassed FB in cultural cache, lost some of its internal culture due to FB encroaching and lots of other details in between: https://t.co/NYA0TOtFYj
— Ashley Gold (@ashleyrgold) August 22, 2019
Instagram is expected to generate $15.8 billion this year alone which is nearly a quarter of Facebook’s overall revenue.
– There is tremendous pressure internally for IG to reach monetization parity with the FB app. Thinking is that once both apps monetize the same, there is less to be worried about if FB users continue shifting to IG. FB trying hard to position the two apps so they don't compete.
— Alex Heath (@alexeheath) August 22, 2019
One thing we know for sure, the experience on Instagram will get worse as you’ll get more ads on your main feed, explore tab and Stories – there will be no safe space.
Facebook responding to Instagram stealing attention away from Facebook by forcing Instagram to share users back is like exhibit A for a breakup: the better answer would be for Facebook to make its app more competitive
— nilay patel (@reckless) August 22, 2019
What they are saying:
Facebook spokesperson: “We are always improving upon the ad experience. Ad load fluctuates based on how people use Instagram. We closely monitor people’s sentiment both for ads and overall commerciality. 80% of people on Instagram follow at least one business, and ads are one way for people to learn more about brands and their products.”
A The Information reader comment: “Am I missing something or is this a product with no real value except supporting ego gratification and self-promotion? Or is there more to Instagram?”
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