Adverts will show in the feeds of Instagram users in the UK from this week, after the Facebook-owned app began trialling sponsored ads in the US in September last year.
Photos and videos will be gradually introduced from Starbucks, Cadbury, Channel 4, Rimmel London, Sony Music, Estée Lauder and Waitrose. No fashion brands are currently taking part in the UK. Burberry and Levi’s were part of the initial launch in the US.
James Quarles, global head of business and brand development at Instagram, said: “Our teams have partnered closely with a handful of brands who are already great members of our community in the UK to create beautiful sponsored images. We want ads on Instagram to be as engaging and high quality as the experience of flipping through a favourite magazine.”
The UK is one of the top five most popular countries for Instagram, which has more than 200 million monthly active users globally. The social media platform said the introduction of advertising was part of a strategy to make it a sustainable business.
The brands’ photos and videos will appear in the main feed and will be marked with a sponsored label, but users can choose to hide adverts that they do not want to see.