Facebook video ads might be postponed indefinitely, but that hasn’t stopped Instagram from moving forward. According to a report from the Wall Street Journal, the company plans to begin monetizing its service within the next year.
Instagram has grown to a community of more than 150 million people — that’s a 15 percent increase since its last count two months ago. As the community continues to grow, it’s becoming more global. Now more than 60 percent of its user base comes from outside the U.S. This makes for an attractive target audience for advertisers.
While Facebook has already confirmed plans to monetize Instagram, there’s no solid date for when it will start displaying ads to its members. There’s also no word on what ads on Instagram would look like, but the WSJ reports that the team could possibly go after placement in the app’s Discover page and search feature.
Emily White, Instagram’s Chief Operating Officer, told the publication that despite lacking a firm date, the company is beginning to “court” advertisers. According to the report, under White, Instagram began to catalog every major brand account on the platform, and then went to meet those companies — including Ford, Williams-Sonoma, and Coca-Cola.
The challenge that Instagram faces is to figure out how to integrate ads without jeopardizing user experience. Instagram has been ad-free for years; if carelessly implemented, the service could become cluttered. Additionally, the company will have to figure out how to make paid ads an attractive option for brands that are currently using Instagram to run free viral campaigns.
Jennifer Beese: Jennifer Beese has worked as a community manager and social media strategist. When she’s not writing, you can find her studying anatomy and physiology—she literally has a skeleton in her closet—or under the stars with her telescope.