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.
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.