Safiya Nygaard YouTube Instagram ads

Safiya Nygaard/YouTube

YouTuber concocts an outfit using nothing but Instagram ads

She didn't hate the result.


Josh Katzowitz


Posted on Feb 16, 2018   Updated on May 22, 2021, 12:39 am CDT

According to YouTuber Safiya Nygaard, you can create an entirely presentable outfit made up of the unwanted Instagram ads that show up in your feed. The neverending sponsored posts on your timeline can be put to good use, apparently.

In the past, the beauty vlogger has experimented with Instagram sponsored posts to test its ad algorithms and “to see how well they really know me and if the products show in their ads are any good.” But now she said she’s seeing more sponsored posts than normal. So, she conducted a new exercise to see if the algorithm could match her style preference and bought an outfit based solely on the sponsored ads she saw in her Instagram feed.

She capped each item of clothing at $100, and she vowed to buy the first thing she found in the categories of “top,” “bottom,” “jacket,” “shoe,” and “accessory.”

She said it actually took her a couple of months to create the outfit, and it’s an interesting look into how Instagram thinks it can convince you to buy its recommendations. As Nygaard explains, Instagram records what you look at and “like” on Instagram and Facebook (as well as other third-party apps) to decide what ads to serve you.

In other words, Instagram watches what you do on its site and on its parent company’s site, Facebook, and then continues to observe you when you leave. Said Nygaard, “We’ll see how the clothing is, and if they’ve been watching correctly.”

Here’s what she discovered (and her theories are actually pretty fascinating).

Yeah, the way Instagram determines how to serve you ads is shady and/or potentially violating. But hey, at least you might find an outfit that you don’t necessarily hate.

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*First Published: Feb 16, 2018, 10:29 am CST