- According to TechCrunch, social media agency Social Chain parsed through the source code for the latest version of Instagram's app, and found evidence that the social media platform will soon be offering the ability to pay to elevate posts.
- Other changes coming to Instagram include business profiles, analytics and an improved ad buying experience.
- The evidence for boosted posts was found in Boolean variables within the code that can be set to "true" or "false" with one option named, "can_boost_post." Facebook, Instagram’s parent company already offers a similar option on its platform.
Instagram's news feed has been the topic of much conversation in the past few months, beginning with the news that the photo- and video-sharing app would be introducing an algorithm. Though the algorithm news was met with mixed reviews, for brands looking for assurance that their organic content will remain visible in users' timelines after the algorithm changes go into effect, the possibility of being able to elevate content would be helpful.
The TechCrunch report pointed out that advertisers have wanted the ability to boost individual Instagram posts for a while. Currently, Facebook advertisers can run ads in targeted users’ Instagram timelines that are clearly marked as "sponsored." These targeted ads are boostable, but there is no way to boost a single non-ad Instagram post.
Because the feature was only uncovered by digging into the app’s source code, it is unknown who would be able to bump posts up, or if it’s a feature that only approved advertisers will be able to take advantage of.
TechCrunch said Instagram did not respond when asked to comment on the findings.
In April, Bloomberg reported that Credit Suisse Group AG predicts Instagram will contribute $3.2 billion in revenue to Facebook this year, tripling the price Facebook paid for the social media platform in 2012. It’s unclear if adding new advertising options, such as elevated posts, would have any significant impact on Instagram’s potential ad revenue cap.