We knew this day would come.
On Tuesday, Instagram declared that it’ll begin using the Explore tab as a way to indicate ads to users. The ads won’t show up in the main grid. Instead, once a user clicks on a post from Explore, Instagram can serve ads in the discovery feed users scroll through from that post.
Ads already appear in the home and story feeds, with a lot of volume and more forms of ads than ever. Explore had been, till Tuesday, one of the (surprisingly) last places on Instagram that didn’t have ads.
But many foresaw change a coming. During an earnings call in October, Mark Zuckerberg hinted that the Explore tab was an “opportunity” for additional ad placement.
Zuckerberg notes that Instagram users spend about 20 % of their time in the Explore tab, which doesn’t have ads, says that’s an “opportunity” sooo. Prepare for ads in Instagram Explore $FB.
Instagram’s announcement notes that Explore is where folks come to find something new, so that it’s a natural fit for advertisers.
“This is a chance to be a part of what’s culturally relevant and trending whereas reaching new audiences who are looking to find something new,” the blog post reads.
Previously, getting a post on Explore was a Holy Grail achievement for Instagram accounts seeking to grow their followings. Attaining that prime placement required some supernatural combination of virality and smart hashtag usage. Now, brands can pay to reach you there.