"Did you see a post for Showtime's Masters of Sex?" Instagram recently asked people who use the photo-sharing service. Others have been quizzed about ads run on Instagram for clothing retailer Hollister and hospital brand Airbnb.
These surveys are one way Instagram and its advertisers are gauging whether the service's ads are working -- or turning users off.
Instagram has been running these surveys since it rolled out ads last fall, but more people may be noticing the questionnaires now because Instagram has ramped up the number of ads and advertisers on its service, said a spokesman for Instagram parent Facebook.
The number of questions in a given survey can vary depending on the advertiser's objective and target audience, but typically range from 5 to 10 questions, the spokesman said, calling that in line with industry standards.
The surveys are included as part of a brand's Instagram ad buy but vary depending on each individual advertiser's contract, the spokesman said. Advertisers aren't paying an extra fee for the surveys. Instead the surveys are part of Instagram's pitch in selling brand advertisers on its inventory.
Instagram records the survey responses to help tell big brand marketers -- the service's target advertiser base -- whether people like the ads and whether the ads are making people more aware of the advertiser's brand.
Instagram isn't sharing the raw survey data with advertisers. Instead advertisers receive information inferred from that data, like brand lift, brand recall and whether an ad changed consumer sentiment about the brand.
In case you haven't come across these surveys yet, here are some screenshots people have posted to Twitter.
Has anyone else received this Instagram survey? Strangest thing ever. Any guesses which product they are researching? pic.twitter.com/eQhqIqxJH2— Jeff Morris Jr. (@jmj) June 11, 2014
When did Instagram start with the survey ads & why are they framing the question like you're helping w/a UI tweak? pic.twitter.com/HSN3WG5mYf— Ty Nowell (@tynowell) June 11, 2014
Good thing this survey has a lot to do with improving Instagram pic.twitter.com/xHvC79YYpB— Gabby Tracy (@Gabby_Tracy4) June 29, 2014