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Time for Instagram to make money through you

Instagram to soon have ads

As long as an online platform is free for users it is bound to be monetised sooner rather than later. That time is coming...

December 13, 2012 5:26 by

For many, Instagram is an application that allows users to express their artistic side with minimal effort. Personal views aside, it’s been ranked as a highly effective platform for sharing content in the form of images. It’s practically a gold mine for brands and marketers and much like everything else on the Internet, it’s bound to be monetised sooner or later. You may have recently noticed that when sharing a picture on Twitter, the link doesn’t take you to the normal preview mode but rather directly to Instagram. We’ll get to that in a bit.

In a recent interview with Business Insider, Carolyn Everson, the company’s VP of global marketing solutions talked about the likelihood of ads coming soon to Instagram. “There are many brands that use Instagram right now to try to get a feel for how to engage with their followers. We will definitely be figuring out a monetisation strategy. When that will happen, I can’t comment, but it’s going to happen,” she said.

For those that are unaware, Facebook owns Instagram. The company was bought in April of this year for a rough amount of $1 billion dollars – via a combination of cash and stock. Since then, there has been a lot of speculation as to when and how the application will be monetised.

The when remains unanswered but if we can be certain of anything, it is that their move towards adopting an advertising model is rather assertive. Ayman Itani, founder of Think Media Labs tells me that while Twitter was busy adding a new photo filter in an effort to compete, Instagram has pulled the plug on their Twitter viewing integration. They’ve also started allowing non-members to view the profiles of existing ones – something that would not have been possible earlier. Why the change? To attract traffic to the site which Ayman says indicates that the adoption of an advertising model is imminent.

“There is a growing trend of users expressing themselves in the form of photos. There has been a lot of guesses as to how the app will be monetised,” says Itani. Rumour has it that with the ability to analyse each picture that a user snaps and shares, it will be quite attractive for advertisers. “They’ll also be able to know your location when you share a photo so that one is a no-brainer,” he adds. “They may also monitor the types of images you usually share and target you based on that.”

Targeted advertising can hardly get any more accurate.

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