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Monetizing Social Media

As mobile gains traction, Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat have all been trying to plug gaps and monetize their platforms. The progress has picked up in recent months, with Pinterest and then Instagram announcing APIs for advertisers and Snapchat introducing vertical video ads.

Everyone got buy buttons a few months ago, too, hoping to streamline conversions on mobile.

Out of all of them though, Instagram has by far the best chance of success — and that's because it was bought by Facebook.

According to Statista, Instagram will bring in $2.8 billion in mobile ad revenue in 2017. That’s an outrageous jump for a company that has been operating at a loss for almost its entire existence, and it goes to show that the social space is ripe for development.

Under the umbrella of the social giant, Instagram has space to experiment -- and access to a ridiculous amount of data. Data is the key to monetizing an app. Just ask Facebook: almost three quarters of its total ad revenue comes from mobile.

Social media already has a leg up with data, as users sign in to their own profile and their habits are established within an app or site. Facebook’s powerful analytics software is another reason why Instagram is poised to come out on top of the heap.

That’s not to say that Pinterest or Snapchat can’t make it, just that the road ahead will be a little rockier.

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