02 September 2022

The first Instagram ad: a Michael Kors lady's watch

The app wasn’t always flooded with ads to the point of nauseating its users, as explained in the fascinating recent Arte documentary Instagram: the vanity fair. In April 2012, when Mark Zuckerberg bought Instagram for $1 billion, it had 25 million users and no ads. It still wasn’t turning a profit – in fact it was losing money! Eighteen months later, the day the app passed the 150-million user mark, Mark Zuckerberg imposed advertising to make his purchase profitable. At first, there was only one advertiser and one ad per day! The first to go for it, in November 2013, was Michael Kors promoting a lady’s watch. The brand’s account then gained nearly 34,000 followers in 18 hours. The rest is history…

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