So it has begun. Instagram has begun serving sponsored ads in Australia (at least the first one that I've noticed anyway). It was inevitable. It costs money to host, serve and run any company. Apparently Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom personally reviews and approves every single ad that Instagram serves. Maybe this is only in the USA, which is still very impressive (but not very scalable).
People need to stop complaining. Already in the first few minutes of the ad running, there were close to 30+ negative comments about the advertisements. Instagram is a free service, but it costs money to run. All companies, be it a Coffee shop or an Internet photo service, need to generate revenue to survive. I'm ok with these ads, given Instagrams dedication to stay true to the quality and form.
There has been a growing trend of Tech companies offering their service for free at the start (Facebook's model), which leaves them in a precarious situation when they finally need to start generating real revenue. This has lead the general Internet population to a false sense of entitlement, which has now become a problem. It is however, a shame, that the only way tech companies know how to make revenue these days is through advertising (thanks Google).