The head of Instagram said in an interview on June 25th, that it doesn't snoop on private conversations as part of its advertising targeting strategy.
"We don't look at your messages, we don't listen in on your microphone. Doing so would be super problematic for a lot of different reasons," Instagram chief, Adam Mosseri, clarified in an interview with CBS. "But I recognise you're not going to really believe me."
Also, he acknowledged that he is questioned regularly by Instagram users who insist they receive ads from restaurants, stores and other companies after only conducting a private conversation about an item and not posting to the broader site.
Like its parent company Facebook, Instagram has a messaging service for users to communicate privately, as well as a platform to post items to followers. From his statement, he communicated to users that there were two ways that they may have this experience, "dumb luck" or a subconscious memory of an ad they’d seen previously.