Instagram Running Far More In-Stream Ads Soon

Instagram announces plans to expand advertising on their photo-based social networking ecosystem. This will be the most major update to the Instagram ads system since it was launched one year and a half ago. In that time Instagram has "become a powerful mobile platform for advertisers," according to the company itself, and as of today they'll be taking steps to "make Instagram ads available to businesses of all types and sizes." So hold on to your shutter buttons, you're going to be seeing all sorts of content from users you never followed in the stream you never check.

It was inevitable, really, as soon as Instagram was purchased by Facebook, a public company, that they'd need to expand their revenue model. From nothing, that is to say, to the money-making monster it is today.

Instagram suggests that over the past year they've "worked across brands, agencies, and our community to design an advertising experience that feels native to the platform."

So you'll know you're looking at ads, but only if you really pay close attention.

"We're focused on three key areas," said an Instagram representative this afternoon, "expanding ad offerings to include action-oriented formats, enabling more targeting capabilities," and making it easier for all business to buy ads.

What's next?

The next stage in Instagram advertising includes direct-response formats. Instead of just watching cash turn into views, brands will be paying Instagram when people click.

And not just click, but download.

Expect to see buttons like:

• Shop Now

• Install Now

• Sign Up

• Learn More

This is the future of advertising online. No longer will brands be paying big cash for views.

The future is engagement that can be much more tangibly monetized.

"Enhanced targeting" means more tracking

The following sentence is the one you're going to want to pay attention to, straight from Instagram's "Instagram for Business" article published this afternoon:

"Working with Facebook, we will enable advertisers to reach people on Instagram based on demographics and interests, as well as information businesses have about their own customers."

"Expanded targeting options" will be offered to advertisers by Instagram later this year.

Sound familiar?

"We're excited to bring Instagram ads to more advertisers and to help support more objectives," said an Instagram representative this afternoon.

"Businesses are important members of our community and we look forward to learning what works together."

Let us know if you're all about this sort of monetization of products like Instagram.

If you're not, what do you suggest social networks do instead?