Instagram Expands Ad Offering

After acquiring the free photo-editing and sharing app for $1 billion in 2012 and launching ads in 2013, Facebook has slowly advanced its ad offerings with carousel and video ads. And although the social networking service has locked down partnerships with major brands, advertising is not open to everyone.

That’s all about to change.

“Over the coming months, Instagram ads will be available to more advertisers with new formats, better targeting and the ability to buy [advertising on Instagram] online as well as through third-party [media] planners,” said Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg.

Instagram will generate almost $600 million in ad sales this year, exceeding Google and Twitter in US mobile display ad revenues by 2017, according to a report by eMarketer. That’s pretty insane. But this makes sense if you consider the fact that the Facebook-owned platform boasts 300 million monthly active users worldwide. If that doesn’t convince you: 1 out of 5 minutes spent on mobile is on Facebook and Instagram. (Guilty!)

So, what can we expect?

Expanded ad offerings
Image, video, carousel, call-to-action link ads and marquee ads that can all be supplemented with Facebook campaigns.

Better targeting capabilities
Facebook categories, partner categories, custom audiences and lookalikes to increase relevance and efficiency.

How long do we have to wait? (We’re all excited!)
We can expect global availability late September of this year.

Instagram’s high brand engagement, growing international user base and new ad offerings make for a very promising future for mobile ad revenue.

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