"Um, excuse me, I find this disturbing. I'm just here, like, scrolling through my buddy's selfies from Burning Man, and then BAM! I'm stabbed in my eyeballs with some sickening ad from Michael Kors? Some like, corporate Project Runway zombie sell-out? Yeah, not cool, Instagram, not cool."
That above quote is borrowed from a young woman, identifiably hipster, on Bedford Ave. in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. She is just one of many who have been royally offended by Instagram's, the supreme photo-sharing social media tool, descent into sponsored advertisements. The debut advertisement hit the U.S over the weekend, an unprecedented hurricane, a dream-killing thing. Many Instagram users were stunned to see that the app, which is owned by the not exactly not-for-profit media maven Facebook (News - Alert), had done the gross deed of aiming to sell something.
The ad that poured into people's feeds was a featured timepiece by the fashion designer Michael Kors. No one was warned, asked permission, or invited to receive the advertisement, though Instagram did announce it would begin rolling out ads last month, promising they would look "beautiful" and feel "natural."
Apparently, looks weren't the issue for many, and no, to most the ads did not feel natural. Users cried out in scornful comments. "Seriously a friggin’ ad? Every social networking site has to be ruined by this shit," remarked one user, who then asked, rather interestingly, "Can we pay not to have these ads?" Another user asked, "Why the ef would I want to see this?"
While wrath was the dominant response, some users actually had complimentary comments to post beneath the ad. One user surprised his/herself, commenting: "This is actually a really nice ad...I thought I would hate them!" Another said, "Beautiful image. I don't have an issue with this along as the quality of the message and photo are of good taste."
This initial advertisement may have been Instagram's way of testing the waters, but even so, we can expect more ads to be coming our way via the app.
Edited by Ryan Sartor