Instagram ads & Google’s TV schedules patent

Sponsored content coming to Instagram in the UK, and Google is toying with the idea of altering search results based on what TV you watch.

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Instagram has confirmed that UK users can expect to see advertising and sponsored content very soon, after successful trials in the US. The Facebook-owned picture service has confirmed that ads will be coming for UK users, ensuring that Instagram joins other major social networks in allowing sponsored content.

Google could soon start to alter search results based on television schedules, after being granted a new patent.

The patent means that Google could, theoretically, deliver different results if it believes that a search query has been influenced by a television broadcast. We have covered this in more detail over on our blog.

Video Transcript

Hello, and welcome to Digital Minute, in a week which has seen talk of ads on Instagram and suggestions that what you watch on TV could affect your search results.

We all knew it was coming at some point, but last week Instagram confirmed that it will be showing ads and sponsored content in the UK.

Advertising first started appearing for American users back in November but now, Instagram has confirmed that UK users can expect to see sponsored content soon.

Instagram was the last of the major social networks not to feature ads, but the time has clearly come for Facebook to start recouping its one billion dollar investment.

Could your television habits be having an impact on search results? Well, that might be the case, after Google was granted a new patent earlier in the week.

The patent is for technology that allows Google to change its search algorithms based on television schedules in a particular region. So, for example, if you were to search for cake recipes whilst The Great British Bake-off was on, you might find that the search results might have more Bake-Off related content than usual.

We’ve analysed this in more detail, over on the blog.

Thanks for watching. I’m Graham McDonnell, and that, was your, digital minute.

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