Instagram users can expect to see even more ads popping up in their photo feeds, according to official word from the company. Since Facebook bought Instagram in 2012, the social network has allowed Instagram to operate under its own umbrella, without getting too overbearing about what content is on its photo feed, and without overloading it with ads. However, as Instagram looks to be searching for a way to reinvent itself, within reason, the company has made a leap of faith toward advertising.
For users, that’s either a great thing – or a terrible thing. Depending on your perspective, more ads could mean a slower photo feed, which would be a bad thing for an Instagram that is already experimenting with new ways to keep users engaged. The ads will be targeted and will go after users based on their age, gender, and interests. Presumably, to some degree Instagram might also make ads regional, depending on how things go or what Instagram’s bigger picture play is here.
Instagram has been celebrating capturing 300 million users, but in truth there has been a lot of concern around the brand as a whole. What that brand looks like, how they’re keeping users engaged, or rather, how they’re not keeping users engaged – and what the shelf life is of the content that they have floating around the Instagram world.
The numbers floating around right now suggest that Facebook could have another $2.1 billion in ad revenue. However, Instagram is thinking big picture when it comes to their ads. Laura Breen a spokesperson for Instagram pointed out that the goal of the ads will be to, “enable people to take actions directly from an Instagram ad, like sign up for a website or service, download an app, or go to a retailer’s online store to buy a product.”
Instagram is also said to be working hard to make ads accessible for people and businesses of any kind. James Quarles of Instagram’s global head of business and brand development pointed out that, “Visual storytelling for brands has more resonance. People remember it more.” He went on to point out that, “We want to make sure the ads they see are for things that matter to them.”
The goal for Instagram and Facebook is to continue taking away ad market share from Google. While Instagram has been growing in popularity, it has come a long way from when the first ad ran on the photo sharing network – late in 2013. Users have come to expect more, but so have investors, and at this point – it’s important for Instagram and Facebook to start bringing in those advertising dollars.