instagram has been ruffling the feathers of many users lately with the number of ads and suggested posts it displays from unfollowed accounts. Despite frequent criticism of the app’s near-constant ads, Meta announced in a recent blog post that Instagram will now have two new additional types of ads to saturate the feeds of all users.
One place where Instagram remained relatively ad-free was in search results, as the app devoted that space entirely to directing people to the photos, reels, or other users they’re looking for. Now, users can expect to see ads appearing in search results, making the results a bit more padded and a bit less helpful.
Meta claims this is to allow businesses on Instagram to “reach people who are actively searching for business, products, and content,” however, it seems a bit behind the times from a user perspective. If someone is looking for a specific business in the app, then the business account should already appear in the search results without the need for any ads. How it will all work in practice remains to be seen, but we can expect to see search results ads soon as they will be added globally in the coming months, according to the Meta blog post.
While search results ads appear to be making the user experience worse, the second type of new ad, called “reminder ads,” is mostly non-intrusive and won’t change much about how ads are used in a feed. user. Essentially, ads will display as normal as a user scrolls through the app, but event ads will have the option to remind users via push notifications as the event approaches.
In practice, it will work like this: A user may see an ad for an upcoming event that now has a “remember me” banner. If selected, the user will receive three push notifications: one a day before the event, the next 15 minutes before the event starts, and the final one when the event starts. Because reminder ads are optional, they shouldn’t change much about how a user currently experiences ads in the app, unless their addition means even more ads will flood feeds.