Finding what you "like": Assessing the need for social media advertisements

Infographic by Caroline Schattschneider

A teenager opens up her Instagram hoping to find pictures of her friends and family, but instead, she is bombarded by advertisements for a hair salon and new Italian restaurant.

Advertisements are slowly starting to grow in social media, and it is making a positive impact on the online world.

Recently, the co-founders of Instagram left the company and brought up many questions about social media. They claim to have left so that they could “explore [their] curiosity and creativity again,” said Kevin Systrom, according to Metro. Even though they did not give an exact reason, Tech Crunch said “tension had mounted this year between Instagram and Facebook’s leadership.” Both Krieger and Systrom saw their ideas for the business being too commercialized. This could be a large reason for their departure from the company.

Systrom and Mike Krieger are only two of many people who work for a social media company, these people’s careers revolve around other’s interactions online. There has been much controversy over advertisements on Instagram, and many believe that social media is only to interact with their peers. However, it has much larger importance.

Businesses need advertisements on social media because it benefits them. These advertisements allow them to gain customers and have made it easier than ever to online shop. Without them, many people will not have jobs, and it is obvious, there are more benefits than there are negative consequences.

As social media has evolved, more and more jobs have become available within it. Over 50 million businesses use Facebook business pages, according to Word Stream. Many companies profit off of businesses like these, and the positive results are endless.

93 percent of Pinterest users use the app to plan or make purchases according to Word Stream. Not only do businesses thrive off of social media advertising, but it has become more efficient and easy for online shoppers.

On multiple occasions, I have seen a product being advertised and had interest in it and sometimes, buy it. For shoppers, it can make it easier to buy what you want, when you want it.

There are over a billion diverse Instagram users, which gives an endless marketing potential. According to The Verge, Instagram gains roughly 200 million users a year. This growth gives a much larger platform to companies than a poster on a nearby building.

Social media is constantly gaining users and makes it much easier for businesses to sell their products and services through active users. In April 2018, Sky Word said that every second 11 people use social media for the first time. This gives companies more chances to gain customers through a variety of social medias.

Advertisements make it easier than ever to online shop, and because they target the most effective audience based on many factors, it is beneficial to both sides. But, there is also a negative side to this. According to Pew Research, only 9 percent of social media users were confident their data was protected. If so few people trust their social media providers, then users probably are not trusting businesses that advertise through the social media outlets.

Social media and its advertisements work together to make the easiest and most beneficial results for both the company and their customers. I believe that, even though they are using information from users’ past searches, it is mainly for the benefit of the customers, but they should be more aware of how this makes customers feel.


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