Instagram users expressed dismay when the company told them about plans to feature sponsored content in the photo streams of U.S. customers. Nevertheless, one of the first ads to hit the network, from fashion house Michael Kors, seems to have performed pretty well.
Instagram analytics platform Nitrogram crunched the numbers and found that, within 18 hours of being posted online, Michael Kors's paid post was liked by 217,700 users—an increase of 360% (on average, an unsponsored post by Michael Kors would receive around 46,000 likes). Ultimately, the ad potentially reached 6.15 million people worldwide—and garnered the design company 33,985 new followers.
Of course, there is no success without backlash. In the comments beneath the photo, many conveyed their discontent over seeing a paid image in their streams—and only 1% of those commenters expressed a desire to purchase products from the Michael Kors line.
Earlier today, Instagram cofounder Kevin Systrom sat down with Om Malik at the Roadmap conference to talk about ads. "Are they making us hundreds of millions of dollars per day? No. But that's the goal: Take it slow," said Systrom.
You can read more about Instagram's advertising vision here.