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Instagram's New Timelime Ads Spotted! (And How You Can Take Advantage Of It)

Instagram officially gave its users a first glimpse of its advertisements today. The ad featured a Michael Kors gold watch surrounded by scrumptious macarons. And as of mid-morning today, the advertisement has received over 65,000 likes and 540 comments. That said, the comments showcase users’ displeasure. The comments include remarks such as “why is this on my time!” and “ads on IG ? Nooo.” With this in mind, it’ll likely take some time before Instagram receives, or can even attain, approval or positive reaction from its users.
Here’s how advertisers can leverage Instagram’s ad product.


  1. Use Facebook or Twitter for mobile advertising instead

    Facebook and Twitter have made tremendous upgrades to their advertising interfaces. Facebook has recently unraveled a new advertising feature, Custom Audiences, to improve its targeted-advertising tools. With the new feature, brands can effectively target their customers on Facebook. Brands can input their customers’ email address or phone number to find their consumers on Facebook. Once the customers are found, brands can showcase ads regarding their corporate websites, Facebook Pages, or mobile apps on the customers’ Facebook newsfeeds. Moreover, brands can upload their MailChimp email lists onto Facebook’s advertising platform to target their current customers. In addition, brands can use Twitter to engage with consumers using targeted-advertising. Businesses can use Twitter to showcase Promoted Tweets to consumers who fall under specific interest categories such as biking and swimming. Moreover, companies can use Promoted Tweets to show ads on iOS and/or Android apps. This will allow companies to drive traffic to their own mobile apps. For instance, if you have an Android mobile app, you can display Promoted Tweets on Android devices to encourage your consumers to visit your Android application.

    While Facebook and Twitter have proven to offer outstanding targeted-advertising features, Instagram on the other hand hasn’t shown how their advertising interface will provide such targeted-ad functionalities or differentiate from existing ad products. Hence, it may be more optimal for brands to skip Instagram for now and use platforms such as Facebook and Twitter to target consumers.

  2. Share images through your Google+ community

    While Instagram is useful for sharing images and special moments, Google+ can be used to produce even greater results. By sharing visual content on Google+, brands will be able to entice more consumers to join their Google+ communities and potentially improve their search rankings and online exposures. According to a Moz study, Google+1 is one of the most influential factors in SEO ranking. This means that the more +1s a brand receives, the higher the company’s ranking on Google. Thus, by continuously creating and sharing images on Google+, companies will increase their chances of receiving more +1s and subsequently boosting their web presence. Moreover, with Google+’s current 540 million active users, brands will be able to expand its network significantly worldwide.

    In contrast with Google+, the benefits of Instagram seem limited. The photography app doesn’t have as much influence as Google+ in terms of SEO ranking and it lacks support from the world’s largest search engine to becoming a highly powerful advertising tool. Therefore, advertisers should invest more in Google+ than Instagram as the former social network will likely generate largest returns in the long-run.


Though Instagram currently has 150 million users worldwide, it still lacks several vital advertising components before the photography can develop an impeccable advertising platform. That said, with an enormous user-base, the potential of Instagram’s advertising can be astronomical.