Instagram to ‘slowly’ roll out advertising

Instagram has revealed it will soon roll out “beautiful, high quality” photo and video advertising on its service as owner company Facebook looks to monetise the popular photo sharing app.

Nike’s Instagram web profile page.

In a blog post last night (3 October), Instagram said its aim is to make photo and video ads on the service feel as “natural” to Instagram as the photos and videos many users already view from the brands they follow.

“We want these ads to be enjoyable and creative in much the same way you see engaging, high-quality ads when you flip through your favourite magazine,” it continues.

Instagram will also give users the option to hide ads they do not like and, much like ads on Facebook, will ask users for feedback on why they felt the ad in question was not appropriate.

Advertising will roll out in the US first, from a handful of brands “that are already great members of the Instagram community”.

Instagram launched in 2010, originally as an iPhone app, but has since rolled out to Android and desktop and grown its user base to some 150 million users.

Facebook acquired Instagram for $1bn (£630m) in 2012 as it looked to grow its then infant mobile offering, which at the time had “yet to generate any meaningful revenue”.

Shortly after the acquisition Instagram faced a backlash from users when it changed its terms of service to allow it to sell users’ photos to brands.

The company moved quickly to reverse this policy and in the blog post also reassured users they own their photos and videos and that the introduction of advertising would not change this.

Advertisers are estimated to spend $9.52bn on social network ads this year, up 30.5 per cent from 2012, according to eMarketer.

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