December 13, 2012

Say It Ain’t So! Facebook Will Use Ads In Instagram

When Facebook announced they had planned to buy Instagram, many of the photo-sharing service’s core followers were worried.

Things always seem to change in one way or another when a company is bought out by another. Sometimes the buying company just wants the talent rather than the product. This is often referred to as an “Aqui-hire.” Sometimes the buyer does want the product, but they want to be able to manage it in a brand new way.

Facebook met these users’ fears head on, saying they planned to leave Instagram as it is, free to operate as its own service.

Today, Facebook’s vice president of marketing solutions Carolyn Everson has admitted that Facebook does plan to make one little addition to the filter and photo sharing service: Ads.

This isn’t the first time the idea of placing ads in Instagram has been mentioned, of course. Analysts have seen Instagram as a fertile ground for a new ad-based revenue stream for Facebook before.

Today, Business Insider spoke with Ms. Everson at they Ignition 2012 conference and asked her directly about the possibility of an ad-driven Instagram. Everson cleverly refused to refer to these ads as such, choosing instead to use a more market-friendly term.

When asked if Facebook would begin placing ads in Instagram, Everson replied: “Eventually we’ll figure out a way to monetize Instagram.”

“Well, Instagram continues to grow incredibly fast and we’re still a very small team when you think about the amount of people they are reaching. There are many brands that use Instagram right now to try to get a feel for how to engage with their followers. We will definitely be figuring out a monetization strategy. When that will happen, I can’t comment, but it’s going to happen.”

Instagram has also been in the news this week for being one of the first companies to bite back at Twitter. The 140-character microblogging service has spent most of this year separating themselves from their partners. In the end, Twitter wants to have more control of their service, with their users accessing the service through their Web site or their official apps. Last week, some users began to notice that Instagram was no longer playing nice with Twitter’s Cards layout. Instead of placing their photos inline with Twitter’s new standards, Instagram now sends out a link to the Instagram site.

Twitter won’t be wanting for any filtered and overexposed pictures, however, as they unveiled their own photo filters on Monday.

These filters are available through Twitter’s official mobile apps and are powered by Aviary.

This week’s actions seem to imply a larger social networking war between Facebook and Twitter. Other services are now left to choose sides. As far as ads on Instagram are concerned, it seems as if it’s only a matter of time before Facebook-like ads begin showing up amongst users’ feeds. Perhaps Facebook is testing which filter looks best when hawking a dating service?

Image Credit: Photos.com

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