Instagram Hits 150 Million Users Landmark, Ads Coming Soon
Instagram announced today that they now have over a 150 million users, up 50 million in the last 6-months.
The app itself – which allows users to capture and share video and pictures – is only available on two platforms, iOS and Android, plus knowledgable BlackBerry users can port the app over to their device.
Instagram also noted that they’re “more committed than ever to bringing you the best Instagram experience possible.” This ‘best Instagram experience’ will include ads. A separate report in the Wall Street Journal reveals that the company will begin monetizing its app “within the next year.”
Emily White, who the WSJ says is Instagram’s COO, is leading the charge to bring in big brand advertisers. She stated that although Instagram was bought by Facebook for $1 billion and has never made a cent, “We want to make money in the long term, but we don’t have any short-term pressure.”
The company is building relationships with brands that are already using Instagram to promote themselves for free. Those brands will have to be convinced that paying for ads is more effective than simply posting amazing photos. Instagram also needs a sales team.
According to the WSJ, White is considering the app’s Discover and Search sections as definite ad possibilities. White also said that brands are interested in click-through links from their Instagram photos to their product pages, but that is a pie-in-the-sky idea for now.
White’s biggest challenge in prepping Instagram for ads is the app’s 150 million users. Instagram has been ad-free for so long that any major change could send those users into the waiting arms of another photo-sharing app.
The company has already met with Ford, Williams-Sonoma and Coca-Cola.