Facebook's Instagram to start selling advertising

Friday 04 October 2013 17.02
Instagram was bought by Facebook for more than $700m last year
Instagram was bought by Facebook for more than $700m last year

Facebook is to sell advertising on its Instagram photo service, the first effort to make money from the company’s largest acquisition on record.

Promotions will start to appear on the mobile application, which lets users share images from smartphones, in the next couple of months in the US, Facebook said in a blog post yesterday.

Instagram will deliver a "small number" of pictures and videos from a handful of companies that users are not necessarily following.

Facebook is seeking new ways to drive revenue from mobile devices as users increasingly access digital services from wireless devices.

While mobile made up 41% of ad revenue in the second quarter, up from 30% in the previous period, Facebook remains a distant second in a market led by Google.

"Our aim is to make any advertisements you see feel as natural to Instagram as the photos and videos many of you already enjoy from your favorite brands," Instagram said on the blog.

"After all, our team doesn’t just build Instagram, we use it each and every day.

"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 favorite magazine."

Users will be able to hide promotions they do not like, the app developer said.

They can also give feedback about what does not "feel right" about the ads.

Instagram, which Facebook bought for more than $700m (€515m) last year, has more than 150 million users, up from more than 130 million in June.

Facebook, based in Menlo Park, California, has continued to update the service.

Instagram unveiled tools in July that let members embed photos and videos on outside websites, including blogs and news providers. Videos were added to the photo-sharing app in June.