After the US, Instagram advertising reaches UK
Instagram has recently reached 200 million users from all around the world, who have posted more than 200 million photos online. Today, the service is aiming at leveraging its network effects and reach in order to turn profitable. Instagram is slowing introducing advertising on its platform in the United Kingdom. It is the second region where this feature is introduced, after the US, where this was done already in 2013.
The first brands that will be allowed to do that are Rimmel, Channel 4, Starbucks, Cadbury, Estee Lauder and Sony Music UK. All of them already have a very strong presence on the photo sharing app. By sponsoring the ads, companies’ posts will be shared and seen by a much wider audience, as followers will get them higher in their stream. This change is described by Instagram’s management as a “natural experiment” and seeing an ad on the platform is similar to going through the pages of a paper magazine. The introduction of the advertisement will be done following the same path as it did in the US. There will be only pictures and no videos, and people will have the option to hide the story from their stream.
What is more, Instagram has started working with creative agencies to make it a more popular communication and advertising channel, developing as a real alternative to the print media. One of its most important partners is the agency group Omnicom. Its clients are also the first brands to advertise on Instagram in the UK. The company also cooperates with a lot of free-lance photographers and bloggers. Instagram takes pride in being a “premium brand environment”, with its prices ranging from 350k to 1 million US dollars for a one month campaign. Its content is sometimes only advertising, sometimes very editorial and sometimes the line between those two is blurred.