Ads are on the way for Instagram's 150 million users

The photo-sharing app has to translate its growth into profit, so get ready to see some ads in the next year.

Instagram is unstoppable. The photo-sharing app added 20 million users over the last two and a half months, growing from 130 million to 150 million monthly active budding photographers since introducing video.

For comparison, Twitter had 200 million active users as of March. Vine, Instagram's main competitor, has 40 million registered users. Instagram is clearly killing it.

So it comes as no surprise that Facebook is preparing to turn the popularity of its subsidiary into cold hard cash. Emily White, Instagram's director of business operations, joined the company in March to take the app to the next level. And that next level will include ads, at least that's what Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said he envisions during social network's second-quarter earnings conference call.

"We expect that over time we're going to generate a lot of profit from [Instagram], probably through advertising," Zuckerberg said.

Poised to sell

White told the Wall Street Journal that she expects Instagram to be poised to sell ads sometime next year. There's a lot of work to be done before that happens. The company is building relationships with brands that are already using Instagram to promote themselves for free. Those brands will have to be convinced that paying for ads is more effective than simply posting amazing photos. Instagram also needs a sales team.

According to the WSJ, White is considering the app's Discover and Search sections as definite ad possibilities. White also said that brands are interested in click-through links from their Instagram photos to their product pages, but that is a pie-in-the-sky idea for now.

White's biggest challenge in prepping Instagram for ads is the app's 150 million users. Instagram has been ad-free for so long that any major change could send those users into the waiting arms of another photo-sharing app.

If Instagram is able to avoid Facebook's recent missteps with policy changes--which White has committed to, she told the WSJ--then perhaps an ad-supported Instagram might not be that terrible.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Blog Posts

Cannes 2018: The Big Not Easy

This year’s Cannes Lions program is packed full of data, robots, algorithms, voice technology, blockchain, virtual reality, artificial intelligence and machine creativity. But I’m just as interested in more subtle trends and insights.

Richard Brett

CEO, opr

CMOs are talking the CX talk, but not yet walking the walk

Customer experience is eclipsing product as a competitive differentiator. CMOs are recognising this shift and talking the talk. But are they also walking the walk?

Will our manners go the same way as texting when robotic servants take over?

Much of the talk in the industry is focused on the limited amount of time that screens have left in our lives.

Katja Forbes

Founder and chief, sfyte

Whom It May Concern!We pray for God's blessings and happiness in all our lives & business. Welcome To Kenneth Abrighten Financial Hom...

Anita K.Gold

Live webinar from CMO: Creating memorable customer experiences: The who, what and how

Read more

You're suggesting that Taylor Swift is a non-brand because we don't know who she votes for, and then you suggest developing brand stories...

Brian 't Hart

Why Gartner thinks brands are too uptight about strategy

Read more

Indeed this is the great article but i will love to recommend you to read the case study of Walamrt for get the more and more customers. ...

Eva Buttler

5 steps to customer intelligence success

Read more

here is the good news now you can find the all adobe products at walmart .. read this news here at https://creditcardsfair.com/

Yasir Abbas

Adobe: Tech architecture, talent stopping companies making the experience shift

Read more

Google is more like a utility. Does a road have a brand? No. Do we use it daily? Of course! And the idea of Taylor Swift as an unbrand be...

Davy Adams

Why Gartner thinks brands are too uptight about strategy

Read more

Latest Podcast

More podcasts

Sign in