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Instagram’s latest innovation: More ads

Updated Oct 5th, 2022 5:02PM EDT
Instagram logo
Image: Meta

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Instagram is in the middle of an existential crisis as its parent-company Meta has been seeing revenue decline due to Apple’s App Tracking Transparency policy and TikTok increasing growth among new users. To maintain profit in the long run, Instagram decided that users should get this new “feature:” more ads.

The information comes from TechCrunch. According to the publication, Meta is introducing new Instagram ad placements “as a way to increase the surface for ads as it struggles to monetize its TikTok competitor, Reels.”

For example, there will be more ads on the Explore home page and in the profile feed. TC explains:

The Explore home refers to the page people land on when they first tap on Instagram’s Explore tab — the magnifying glass icon in the main navigation. Here, users can browse a page of suggested and trending content, or tap on buttons at the top of the screen to dive into various trends — like “indoor garden” or “box braids,” for example. Historically, Instagram had only placed ads on Explore within the Explore feed — that is, when a person taps on a post and scrolls. But now, it’s expanding to the Explore home page itself, as it says it sees users spending meaningful time there, Instagram told TechCrunch. This is already rolling out globally.

Another test will be ads on people’s profile feed. So, the next time you visit someone else’s profile and scroll the feed through their photos, you might have this experience interrupted with ad units – which are now rolling out in a global test.

To make at least some people happy, Instagram will allow creators to earn extra income from ads that are displayed in their profile feeds. It will start with select creators in the US – but, of course, regular users won’t get any income from these ads in the future.

Facebook to bring more ads to Reels; Premium version coming?

Facebook Reels feature in the appImage source: Facebook / Meta

TechCrunch also notes that while Instagram and Facebook also offer 30-second ads on Reels, there’s a new format being tested that will involve shorter ads on Facebook Reels.

The publication says they’re called “post-loop” ads. They will be 4 to 10 seconds skippable ads alongside “standalone video ads that will play after a Reel has ended.” It’s not clear whether this will make the user be less likely to watch a Reel again or if they will skip to the next one, but it’s a risky test the company is willing to perform.

With that many ads being added to these platforms, it’s fair to ask whether Meta’s planning for a subscription plan to diminish these interruptions. YouTube, for example, offers a Premium experience by taking all built-in ads from the platform – and has fairly worked.

Although Instagram already lets users subscribe to exclusive content and buy products online, would be something a few users would want: pay to avoid seeing all of these ads all the time.

More coverage: See what changes your Facebook Feed has undergone.

José Adorno Tech News Reporter

José is a Tech News Reporter at BGR. He has previously covered Apple and iPhone news for 9to5Mac, and was a producer and web editor for Latin America broadcaster TV Globo. He is based out of Brazil.