Brands Make Own Instagram Ads

Facebook isn’t putting any advertising into Instagram, so brands and advertisers have been making their own. Marketers, from Pepsi to Nike, are creating sponsored posts on the platform, but Facebook isn’t earning any revenue from the practice. Following the infamous Terms of Service debacle, Instagram had to make it clear that it wouldn’t take users’ photos and use them for advertising without permission. Instead, brands are experimenting with the platform with celebrity and sponsored posts; for instance, Nicole Richie this week posted a photo while using a hair product made by Unilever’s Suave. She also included a link to a microsite by Suave introducing users to their products. LeBron James similarly posted a picture of his Nike’s, and Beyonce posted a pop-art collage with Pepsi. Whether these posts actually translate into revenue is to be determined, but this is a trend that will need to be addressed by Instagram and Facebook – and marketers as well – before it becomes much bigger.