Even more ads will soon start appearing in your Instagram feed, Meta announced today. With these changes, advertisers will now be able to place ads on the Explore homepage as well as directly in profile feeds. The addition of more ads comes as Instagram continues to face backlash for recent changes…
As reported by TechCrunch, these new ad units are likely to be incredibly unpopular among Instagram users. Meta has already faced a ton of backlash for the increasingly messy experience offered by Instagram nowadays. Complaints range from frustration over the number of “suggested” posts in feeds, the annoyingly aggressive focus on Reels, and of course the number of ads in the app.
The first new ad placement coming to Instagram is the Explore feed. In the past, Instagram has shown ads in the Explore feed when you visit the Explore tab, tap on a post, then scroll downwards. In doing this, you see a number of different ads inserted between these posts.
With this change, however, you’ll also start seeing ads directly on the Explore homepage. This means that you’ll see ads immediately when you tap over to the Explore tab, even if you don’t engage with a post and scroll downwards.
Historically, Instagram had only placed ads on Explore within the Explore feed — that is, when a person taps on a post and scrolls. But now, it’s expanding to the Explore home page itself, as it says it sees users spending meaningful time there, Instagram told TechCrunch. This is already rolling out globally.
Second, and perhaps most notably, Instagram is adding ads directly to the profile feed. In the past, profile pages for users have been completely free of ads. So if you tapped through to view someone’s profile, you would have never seen an ad while scrolling through that person’s feed.
A new “global test,” however, is changing that. When you visit a user’s profile, tap on one of their posts, then scroll downward through that vertical feed, you’ll now see ads inserted in between posts every so often. As part of this, Instagram told TechCrunch that “creators can earn extra income from ads that are displayed in their profile feeds.” This offer, however, is only available with select creators in the United States for now.
To recap: more ads are coming to Instagram whether you like it or not. While the head of Instagram, Adam Mosseri, attempted to do damage control in response to complaints about Instagram in July, we haven’t really seen any improvements. The addition of more ads doesn’t change that.