Instagram couldn't stay ad free forever. In the year and a half since the app introduced advertising for businesses, users have seen products casually wedged onto their feeds, to varying degrees of success.
We have worked across brands, agencies and our community to design an advertising experience that feels native to the platform. And we’ve made our ad formats more impactful, from photo and video ads to carousel ads that allow brands to tell a deeper story and provide a link for people to learn more.Instagram Business Blog
Now, as if following some exceedingly long roll out plan, the app has announced it will be adding a 'shop now' feature to its sponsored posts. This will allow users to make purchases natively inside Instagram and shop their favourite looks featured on certain feeds.
Like a lot of experts, Global Radio Strategic Partnerships Ad man, Matt Morris is not so sure about a few different aspects of Instagram's plans.
It’s going to be interesting to see how people and brands respond to having this option, as an Instagram user myself, I’m not sure I want the platform cluttered with ’SHOP NOW’ buttons.Matt Morris
The commerce side of Instagram is, of course, well documented. The amount of money that changes hands for endorsement deals, product placements, and brand partnerships, has placed Instagram in a lucrative place for brands looking to expand their reach.
As with previous incarnations attempting to mix social and commerce, it’ll work for the high-interest, lifestyle brands, and be a useful addition for the niche makers/creators where you may not easily be able to find their products trawling through Etsy, I can’t imagine the low-interest, FMCG [fast moving consumer goods] brands will be welcomed to this particular party.Matt Morris
This will certainly impact how bloggers like Danielle Bernstein make their money. She is the blogger behind whowhatwear and currently commands between $5,000 - $15,000 per Instagram post. Presumably her content will grow to be even more sought after because of the inclusion of a call to action button.
Either way, it's safe to assume that most users don't want to be marketed to in such an obvious way. The fact that the 'shop now' addition is nearly identical to apps like liketoknow.it and dashhudson will surely impact how smoothly Instagram can roll out this new feature.