Instagram At 150 Million Users, Ads Coming Within The Year
The image-centric mobile social network Instagram continues its meteoric audience, surpassing 150 million monthly active users in under three years of existence, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal. A profile today of company COO Emily White says that since Facebook acquired Instagram last year, the image-editing and sharing app has grown its base by 128 million users. It is quickly rivaling Twitter, which announced over 200 million active monthly users in March.
White moved over from Facebook earlier this year, and her task has been to attract brand marketers toward using the mobile social network. There is no pressure to meet a specific timetable for monetizing Instagram, she told the Journal, but she expects that ads of some kind will be running on the network within the year.
When she joined the Instagram team, it had no analytics or brand relationship team, the profile reports. It now has two people dedicated to analytics and four assigned to managing brand relationships. The Instagram ranks have grown from 25 earlier this year to over 50 now. White has been meeting with companies such as Coca-Cola, Ford and Williams-Sonoma.
While many brands already make use of Instagram’s free social media platform, White’s mission is to demonstrate the medium’s value so that eventually the brands will pay for special presence and services. It is still unclear what Instagram ads might be like, but the profile says White and her team are looking at their placement within the Discover section that highlights trending content and searches for keyword and people. Unlike parent company Facebook, which created a large portfolio of product that often confuse marketers, White is vowing to keep the ad offerings as simple as the core functionality of the app.
The article points to a new Levi Strauss & Co. campaign on Instagram as an example of how the company might assist marketers. Levi’s “Station to Station” project sends a set of artists, musicians and creative across the country on a train trip from which images are uploaded regularly to Instagram. The “public art project” did not pay anything to Instagram, but White’s team help set up the program and is hoping it will be a way to demonstrate the social network’s effectiveness to other brand marketers.