Instagram Has Changed and Not For the Better

Instagram has changed and not for the better. It used to be a fun platform to post pictures to as well as view photos from my favorite Instagram users. But sometime in the past few weeks (months?) it has become unbearable. What changed, you ask? In one word: ads.

We all knew this day would arrive eventually. When Facebook purchased Instagram in April, 2012, we all knew this amazing community we all loved would change, we knew in our heart of hearts that ads were coming. But honestly, I never thought it would be this bad.

Ads have been a part of social media for years and it hasn’t been a problem. Facebook positions their ads to the side, Twitter disguises their ads as user generated content and Google+ is ad free, but Instagram is different. When that ad scrolls by I am a captive audience and the experience is much more intrusive.  I can’t scroll through my Instagram feed more than a few posts before I encounter an ad, there are that many. My typical experience looks like this: 3 photos, 1 ad, 12 photos, 1 ad, 10 photos , 1 ad, 11 photos, 1 ad, 8 photos, 1 ad, 11 photos … You get the picture.

I can take this for about five minutes then I get frustrated and I put my phone down. I want to stay on Instagram and see what people are posting, I want to hangout and like a few photos and see what my friends are up to, but it’s nearly impossible for me with the increase in ads.

For the moment I have a couple of viable options to avoid ads both of which mean I can only access Instagram through my desktop computer. Both Instagram and Iconosquare (a third party app) are ad free the last time I checked. So far this has been a lifesaver.  With either of these apps, I can scroll my feed free of annoying ads. I can concentrate on the amazing photos of my fellow photographers and not the onslaught of advertising.

~ xxSJC

Have you noticed an increase in ads on Instagram? If you have, how do you feel about it? Has the increase in ads changed your viewing habits? Would you pay Instagram a fee to be ad free?

I apologize for ranting about Instagram rather than writing about photography, lately I have been discouraged by current events and distracted by the holidays. If you have a topic you would like me to address, feel free to make a note in the comments. 

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Keith_lowry
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Keith_lowry

I had this experience a couple of months ago, where ads ruined Instagram. After a while I was able to mentally tune them out. Now my Instagram has no ads again (hex!) so maybe they’re on some sort of rolling test at the moment.

Boris
Admin

So true ! I thought it was just me, but I really think it is too much and comes very close to the subliminal stimuli of the 21st century gone wrong. I can appreciate that one ad in the first attention span, which I also recognize directly as an add and I even explored and liked some of them. I like direct engagements based on big data and my personal preferences, so far so good. But then I scroll on and want to see what my circles, friends, … has to share, and this is where it goes wrong. The… Read more »

HerrSM
Member

Okaaayy…- seems to me that Europe is a bit behind this “ad wave”. It all started in the U.S.much earlier. I do see very little advertisement for whatever. But you are painting a rather dark future for my Instagram to be (or very bright-coloured, probably depending on the advertised product, haha).

Seriously, there are hardly ads on my feed. Guessing I´ll better enjoy it as long as it lasts.
And don´t worry about ranting instead of talking plastic or photography; I do think IG is a part of our fine community on here (or was it the other way round?).

brickandmordor
Member

I was seeing a few ads many many months ago, but they have stopped. @coney_dogg got hit HARD a few months ago with an ad about every 15 pictures. I think she abandoned IG for about a month straight because it was so unbearable. We chatted about it at the PDXToySafari and others could relate and said the ads came in waves. Shortly after that though, @coney_dogg stopped getting the ads. My feed has been pretty much ad-free during her entire ad attack phase. I’m very curious as to who gets targeted and for how long. I just keep hoping… Read more »

Mister_Bricks
Member
Mister_Bricks

Lots of ads, and most of them really bug me. I’m trying to block and hide those that annoy me the most in the hope that the algorithms will get better at showing me the less annoying stuff.

Holly
Guest

Yes, about every fifth “picture” now is an ad. Video too, which messes with my data more than ever.

lynmillerlachmann
Member

I haven’t gotten any ads from Instagram. Maybe I don’t buy enough.

fubiken/Stefan.K
Member

I have not seen that much ads, but when I do I just scroll past them. There are ads everywhere anyway, way to much on some sites. I’ll guess thats the price for something “free”.

HerrSM
Member

Oooooh……., the wave of ads seems to have hit me overnight. About every tenth pic on my feed is sponsored by whoever. Let’s see where this is going to. Blocking every ad to emphasize I’m not amused seems too time intensive. We’ll see, we’ll see…