It's a natural step for Instagram to introduce profitable native advertising. And even as it introduces ads, Instagram is making assurances that you can control what you see.
What else does it have to do to keep users and brands happy?
If you plan to experiment with ads on the fast-growing social network, here's what to keep in mind.
What do marketers need to know?
The main thing is context: The ad isn't just a filtered, square photo or video. It's also the caption below it, tags, and the account it comes from. If it contains a link—that link better be to a mobile-friendly website.
Content should also be produced via a mobile device. The ad guys need to follow the rules of real users—that is, don't fake it; actually make it with mobile.
Some smart brands have already taken advantage of Instagram by making the user king with brand accounts and user-driven campaigns.
Levis reached out to the top Instagram users to take pictures for a campaign by hashtagging photos for a week. Advil did a similar campaign, working directly with top Instagram photographers.
More natural than a celebrity partnership, these ideas integrate brands right into Instagram's passionate communities.
Creativity like this is what could give ads on the Instagram platform more power than on any other medium.