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Instagram to Launch Ads

Instagram announced last week that it has reached 150 million monthly active users, up 50% from 100 million in just six months. And now that the user base is up, the company is ready to monetize the app. We all know what that means – ads are coming to Instagram.

Instagram, introduced in 2010, has gone three years without advertisements, using the time to build the number of users. There is no precise timeline of when ads will be active, however Emily White, the director of business operations, indicated to the Wall Street Journal that ads would likely begin appearing within the next year.

While some may be worried that Instagram users might rebel, the question we’re asking isn’t how users will react to the addition of ads, but how will marketers respond? Will marketers be willing to pay for something they are currently getting for free? Brands have already been running successful campaigns through Instagram without the use of advertisements. For example, photo contests with the use of a hashtag are becoming quite popular. Of course, the only thing missing is a metrics system to track the reach, which would likely be part of the appeal of using Instagram advertisements.

White said that the Instagram team is considering ad placement in both the Discover feature and the search function of the app. There is no indication of what Instagram ads may look like, but keep an eye out because they will likely be showing up on your Instagram feed in 2014.

We want to know your thoughts. How do you feel about Instagram launching ads?