Om Malik on Instagram Ads

Om Malik:

There is no denying that I am obsessed with Instagram. I check the app as often as I drink water, which is a lot. As a wannabe photographer, it is a source of inspiration: I love looking at perfectly curated lives of people, things and places. I ignore the harsh reality that perfection is almost always nothing more than perception. In fact, Instagram is the only social app that has survived the purge of social media on my iPhone; Facebook, Snapchat and Twitter are all gone. (I use Facebook and Twitter mostly from my iPad Pro, which is my computer of choice these days and a replacement for my laptop.)

Over the past few days, though, I have been contemplating if it is time to get Instagram off my home screen as well. Why? Because it has been infesting my feed with too many ads — and not just any ads but terrible ads. Video ads. Ads that make absolutely no sense to me. Ads that have less relevance to my feed and me than dumb follow-me-everywhere banners on the web.

I check Instagram almost every day, and for reasons that I don’t understand, I have never seen an ad. Not one. But yet more and more I see other people complaining about the ads on Instagram.

Update: My best guess, and a few readers have made the same guess, is that I don’t see ads on Instagram because I don’t have a Facebook account.

Thursday, 18 February 2016