As part of an international advertising trial, the Facebook-owned photo app Instagram will allow its advertisers the opportunity to promote their business to UK users. Due to the visual nature of the app, this can only be a good thing for companies which are seeking to market themselves via new platforms. Instagram currently boasts 200 million users which is an insurmountable audience to view your latest product or service.
However, like everything in the technology-driven 21st century, there are the inevitable downsides. The main issue for me is that, as an Instagram user, I tap the icon on my phone and open up this world of filtered photos because I want a glimpse into the lives of my friends and family. As a keen user, I therefore struggle to see myself logging in to ‘like’ the latest pair of jeans being sold by Levis.
Theoretically it is a great idea, using an incredibly large database of individuals as potential customers in the way Facebook has done. But very soon it could have some users distancing themselves from the app. I believe Instagram may cease to not only be a valuable marketing tool, but a wasteland of un-viewed selfies and gym shots.
What are your thoughts? Is this the beginning of the end for Instagram or is it whole new way of communicating with customers?