It was only a matter of time before the popular photo-sharing app started with advertising. With the Instagram recently reaching 150 million active monthly users, it was only a matter of time before the need to monetize the app’s popularity became apparent. The company is now devising a plan to introduce ads.
Instagram recently suffered major backlash from users when it changed its terms of service to allow users’ photographs to be used in adverts, in an effort to monetize the app. The people at Instagram have been quiet since then about their plans to make the social network profitable on its own. In 2012, Facebook bought the photo-sharing app for a cool $1billion, the app however, is yet to earn any money.
It is yet unclear where exactly the ads would appear on Instagram, and there has been no mention of including the ads in the user’s photo stream, which indicates that unlike Facebook and Twitter, Instagram’s ads will be less intrusive with possible locations including the app’s “discover” feature or its search function. Ironically, both Facebook and Twitter started out by selling none intrusive ad units, but ultimately ended up filling user’s feeds with advertising and marketing.
Even though Instagram is yet to introduce advertising in their app, celebrities and brands have been involved in marketing themselves through this medium since it was launched. Celebrities often use their accounts to inform their fans of their latest projects. Brands use this visual medium to highlight their services and products. According to reports, Merc is hiring top photographers to take pictures on the brand’s behalf, to be used in their Instagram account. 59 of the world’s top 100 brands are currently using Instagram as a form of marketing.
With Instagram being viewed as a creative outlet, it will be interesting to see the users’ reaction to advertising when the app’s ads are revealed.
Instagram is also available for Android devices.
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