It had to happen eventually: Instagram is to start advertising to Australian photo feeds.
Australian Instagram users will start seeing ads pop up in their photo streams from Wednesday.
The images and videos will look like regular posts but will be prominently marked as “sponsored”.
Australia is the third country to get Instagram ads, following the UK last month and the US a year ago.
Nine brands are on board for the launch: Tourism Queensland, Vegemite, Ben & Jerry’s, Toyota, Flight Centre, Audi, Lenovo, McDonalds and Philadelphia Cream Cheese.
Instagram says the rollout will start slowly. Ads will be targeted at users based on demographic factors such as their age and gender.
In that way, it’s similar to how ads function on Facebook, which owns the free photo-sharing platform.
“Our aim is to help brands create beautiful ads that feel as natural to Instagram as the photos and videos people already share,” said marketing chief Amy Cole.
The company is so keen to ensure the ads fit seamlessly into photo feeds that each is being vetted by co-founder Kevin Systrom.
If users see an ad they don’t like, they’ll be able to hide it from their feed and give feedback.
Instagram, launched in October 2010, has 200 million active users globally. It doesn’t disclose Australian user numbers.