FanDuel, Games Dominate Early Instagram Advertising

A look at the early days of Instagram advertising found plenty of FanDuel and game developers, along with ads delivered to the wrong devices.

A look at the early days of Instagram advertising found plenty of FanDuel and game developers, along with ads delivered to the wrong devices.

Mobile application marketing intelligence provider Sensor Tower examined early adopters of advertising on the Facebook-owned photo- and video-sharing network since it was opened to all brands, and its findings included:

Approximately one out of every 10 ads on Instagram in October was for fantasy-sports provider FanDuel, which seems to be trying to capitalize on the heart of the National Football League schedule.


In contrast, rival daily-fantasy-sports service DraftKings only accounted for approximately one out of every 200 ads on Instagram during the month.

Game developers accounted for 27 percent of all Instagram ads in October, followed by entertainment, at 23 percent. Sensor Tower said it found that developers such as Machine Zone and Scopely tested the waters early, but then shifted their dollars elsewhere.

Sensor Tower also encountered several cases of ads being delivered to the wrong devices, such as the example pictured below, in which an ad for the Cheetah Mobile Android app was served to an iPhone.


Sensor Tower said in a blog post:

This delivery issue could be due to the fact that some users may have multiple devices (iOS and Android), so Instagram may simply send the ad to the device that was active upon registration. Regardless of the root cause, there are clearly some ad-delivery issues at this stage. We have not seen this error in ad delivery on Facebook or any other network that we measure.

The top 10 advertisers on Instagram in October, by share of voice, were:

  1. FanDuel
  2. Supercell
  3. The Third Stone Holdings Ltd.
  4. Everalbum
  5. The Topps Co.
  6. ContextLogic
  7. GramGames
  8. Zynga
  9. Kabam
  10. Science Mobile

Readers: Did any of Sensor Tower’s findings about Instagram advertisers surprise you?

SensorTowerTopAdvertisersInstagram David Cohen is editor of Adweek's Social Pro Daily.