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October 10, 2013

Instagram and Pinterest to allow ads

Photo sharing and collage creating services are hit with sponsord ads in users' feeds.

By Cbr Rolling Blog

Last week Instagram announced that it will start allowing adverts in its US photo streams. This is to make the business profitable and sustainable.

However, Instagram is all about the aesthetics. People use it to see beautiful Polaroid inspired photos on a feed that is constantly streaming updates from people you are ‘following’, allowing you to get a glimpse into their lives, loves and photography talents (or lack of it). Placing ads between users’ updates could potentially ruin the neat appearance of the homepage, leaving users doubtful of whether these updates are from friends, or are conveniently placed, convincing ads.

Facebook made this mistake with sponsored adverts through users’ news feeds. People on the social media site got frustrated that adverts were appearing all over the news feed and at the side of the page. It also started the trend of, when someone ‘liked’ a brand on Facebook, that brand would advertise to that person’s Facebook contacts through their news feed.

Now it’s been announced that online pin board and collage creator, Pinterest, will be adding sponsored ads to its users’ feed.

Social media websites are there for people to connect with friends and in the case of Instagram and Pinterest, to share photos and publish a creative collage of their favourite images. These are not places where people are looking to be sold things, they are not shopping online, they are not interested in clicking on ominous links that move them from one site to another. It was only a matter of time before companies started invading our private news feeds with dollar signs in their eyes.

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