We knew Instagram would one day have plans for advertisements - that was obvious after Facebook acquired the app. After all, it's a business.
With more than 150 million users, the popular photo-sharing app has announced that advertisements will appear directly within the app sometime during the "next couple months".
Interestingly, advertisements will be a US-only thing at first, as we assume ad partners across the world will take more time. Instagram says you shouldn't be too bugged by the ads; they'll flow right into the normal timeline like a typical post.
"Seeing photos and videos from brands you don’t follow will be new, so we’ll start slow. We’ll focus on delivering a small number of beautiful, high-quality photos and videos from a handful of brands that are already great members of the Instagram community," Instagram said.
If you see an ad that you don't like, Instagram will also let you hide it and tell why you didn't like it. The company said it's "relying on your input" to help it continually improve the Instagram experience.
Emily White, director of business operations at Instagram, met with Ford, Williams-Sonoma and Coca-Cola when Instagram hit 150 million users in September. Instagram hasn't confirmed those companies as advertising partners, but they seem likely given their presence across the internet already.
Instagram's growth has been astounding, so it would make sense for the company to monetise the platform. In April, Instagram announced its platform was half comprised of Android users. That's just one year after launching on Android, as it was an iOS-exclusive previously. Instagram has stayed away from ads since 2010, but the time has now come.
Do advertisements on a free service bother you?