Facebook has seen considerable growth on mobile. The company recently announced that mobile advertising accounted for 49% of its $1.8 billion ad revenue in Q3 2013. Subsequently, its share price rocketed [see here].
Now, the social networking site aims to expand its mobile ad monopoly by rolling-out ads through Instagram. The photo sharing platform, purchased by Facebook for $1 billion last year, is to introduce branded photos into its newsfeed which will be shown to users who do not necessarily follow that particular brand. Ads will be published directly from a company’s account, and Instagram is developing an ad model aimed at brand advertisers, not those focussed on direct response.
The roll-out of Instagram ads is likely to be careful, with the company cautious of making sure ads fit in with current aesthetics to avoid disturbance to the user experience. Consumers will also be able to hide ads by tapping a symbol at the bottom of a photo, allowing Instagram to optimise towards serving more relevant content in the future.
Confirmed advertisers so far include Adidas, Burberry, Levi’s, Lexus, Michael Kors and PayPal. Ads are initially set to appear to users within the US, with further roll-out expected in the coming months.