Instagram to start serving ads in Aus 'within weeks'

Rosie Baker
By Rosie Baker | 24 September 2014

Instagram is set to start running paid ads to Australian users “within weeks”, AdNews understands.

The Facebook-owned photo sharing app started trialling paid ads in the US in November and the paid opportunity is also rolling out in the UK this week with brands including Starbucks, Sony and Cadbury slated to be the first, according to Marketing Week. 

In the UK, the brands taking up the paid ads are all clients of Omnicom – following on from the global deal the agency network signed with Instagram back in March. It is not known if this will be the case in Australia. At the time the deal was said to be worth $100m, with estimates later downgraded to closer to $40 million.

The same is set to happen here over the coming weeks. A number of agencies are thought to be involved in creating paid Instagram content for brands, but the social network is said to be being even stricter on the creative direction for Instagram to keep content premium and attempt to avoid a backlash over ads appearing in users' feeds. It's understood that all creative will need to be signed off by Instagram CEO and co-founder Kevin Systrom, similar to the way Facebook's premium video ads are all singed off by Marc D'Arcy.

Instagram ads did run into problems in the US, where McDonald's was one of the first brands to run paid content on the platform. It faced a barrage of negativity from Instagrammers unhappy about the lack of targeting for the ads. The posts attracted likes in the thousands, but also a high volume of negative comments.

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