On the other side of the coin, this has meant that up to now, individuals and brands have not been able to proactively request or pay to be in anyone’s specific Explore tab — although that doesn’t mean that people don’t game this situation (just Google “how to get on Instagram Explore” and you will find many how-to’s to show you the way).
At the same time, brands have — as we mentioned above — been gaming the system somewhat to make sure they get seen on Explore: Instagram says Explore is used by over 50% of accounts each month to enhance their Insta experience, so it is a key way for a brand to get discovered — and notably more organic than paid advertising.
Explore was first launched in 2012, some two years after Instagram itself, as a merger of the app’s search and “popular” tabs, with an aim of using algorithms that were informed by your existing interests to give you a new way to discover new people and themes to follow in the app beyond those you might pick up by way of you own social circles.
But rather than bombard users with marketing right on the Explore grid, Instagram will instead only show ads after users tap into a post and then start scrolling through similar imagery.
Even before monetization made its way to Instagram in the form of feed advertising, shoppable links and sponsored content posted by influencers, brands and businesses had started using the platform to promote products and to connect with customers.
Instagram will test the ad slots itself at first to promote its ailing IGTV product before they “launch to a handful of brands over the coming weeks” Rose says.
Today’s addition of advertising to appear after you click on an Explore link seems to be a nudge away from that algorithm, offering brands a way of using advertising to connect with you even if you might not be part of its natural Explore audience.https://twitter.com/TechCrunch/status/1143898161842413568