Get ready, your Instagram feed is about to get busier! Instagram announced that they’re going to have ads. Instagram has been beta testing video ads for weeks and they’re ready to roll out these video ads from selected companies who want to advertise on this renowned social media platform. We wanted to bring you up to speed on the history of Instagram and what you should know about these new Instagram ads. In this Daily Brown Bag, you’ll learn how many millions of active viewers go on Instagram a day, what percent of the 2014 high school class uses Instagram daily, and more information about how these Instagram video ads work.

Also available on YouTube.


Hello and welcome to the Daily Brown Bag. Today, we're going to be talking about Instagram ads. I'm Chad Hill and i'm joined by Adam Stetzer.

Hey. Good afternoon, Chad. Welcome to the Brown Bag. Chad, I feel like we've covered this story with different products over and over again, but here we are again. Your Instagram feeds are about to get busy full of videos that someone paid to put in front of you. So, that's the news we're covering today, is that Instagram, which is a very popular photo and video sharing platform, has been beta testing for about six weeks and is ready to roll out video ads from selected companies who want to advertise on their platform. These videos will be about 15 seconds long, maximum length. Like videos ads on Facebook, these Instagram video ads will automatically play while the user scrolls through their feed, but they must be tapped on for the sound to become unmuted. We're understanding that the first companies that will be using these Instagram video ads will be Disney, Activision, Banana Republic, and a few others.

And a few stats here, Chad, about Instagram. It's been around since October of 2010. It is now owned by Facebook for those who don't know. And it is, of course, free, but things are starting to change in terms of what you'll be seeing there. A few other very impressive usage stats, Chad, as these well-funded platforms always seem to have at the beginning. Twenty billion photos have been shared on Instagram. There are 200 million active viewers per day with 75 million active users. That's just an astoundingly high number. Also, 98 percent of the time spent on Instagram is on mobile. Instagram is a very mobile-centric platform.

And we were talking a little bit earlier, Chad, the demographics here are crazy. Half of the high school class of 2014 uses Instagram daily. So a big, big hit with the younger crowd. So they've been very careful so far about how to integrate sponsored posts on the platform. What do we think's about to happen?

Yeah. I think it's a great point, and even one of the things that's interesting here is that the CEO actually reviews all the ads. Instagram is very careful about making sure that the ads that's either... whether they're static or whether they're going to be the actual videos that have to fit in the "vibe" of Instagram. I think it's really interesting is something that Gary Vaynerchuk actually talked about in a video that I watched him talk about was that, you really have to make sure that on each of these social networks, they do have their own culture and their own what makes sense and what works. And so I think it's smart that they don't just open this up widely. But even though they're being smart and measured in doing this, we know that the feedback from their users is going to be harsh. People really like this free Internet, Adam and it's just they really get bummed when they have to pay for it with either with their own dollars or by being sold ads. So I think that it will be really interesting to see how Instagram works through this. And, again, you mentioned that this is not the first time we've seen this. And we've talked about other platforms having to test out ads. And we will see ones today that are free that will have to test out ads in the near future. So I think the big question is, "What will the process be? Will Instagram open up these ads to other companies? Will their standards go down in their desire to continue to monetize?" We don't know but it will be interesting to see.

Yeah. And we know that Instagram is owned by Facebook. And Facebook's a public company and they have a profit motive. And, as you said, Chad, the idea of the free Internet is not really true when you have for-profit companies behind it. But it's interesting to watch how they're just trying to play with the notion of getting their sponsors in front of you and trying to find different methods to do so. And that's probably healthy. So we'll keep tabs on this one.

We'd be interested in your thoughts and comments and what your high school age kids are saying... how about Instagram and these sponsored posts as they come. As always, we ask you, subscribe to our video series.