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Instagram is Taking Over the World (And Your Wallet)

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INSTAGRAM IS GROWING UP.

When Facebook purchased the popular photo-sharing app in 2012, it was only a matter of time before in-app advertising started to popping up. Wisely, Facebook held off on throttling Instagram’s huge user base for a while (the massive backlash prompted by a furtively updated privacy policy didn’t help) but now, the fastest growing social network is set to get profitable by giving companies the tools needed to design ads that feel, look and work like native content—the new holy grail of online marketing.

In the past few months, Instagram introduced several new features that signal their impending move towards introducing full-on in-app advertising by the end of 2015. These new features include:

• The addition of landscape or portrait size photos in addition to the original square photo. This opens up huge possibilities for businesses, especially those in aesthetic fields such as material manufacturers and designers. They also made their entire collection of filters, previously segregated for video and photo, universally available. [Source]

• Instagram ads, once reserved for a select few with big bank accounts, have been rolled out globally. For major brands, movie premieres, and product launches, Instagram has introduced “Marquee,” a premium product to help drive mass awareness and expand reach quickly. [Source]

• Instagram advertisers will be given access to all of Facebook’s targeting functionality to ensure their content is being displayed to the correct audience. [Source]

• In addition to advertisements, Instagram is also now allowing call-to-action buttons such as “Shop Now” or “Install Now” that direct users out of the app when clicked. This marks a major transition for Instagram, which previously did not allow functional outbound links at all. [Source]

• It’s not just what Instagram is doing, but what’s happening to them, which is seemingly limitless growth. Instagram is forecasted to surpass G+ and Twitter in ad revenue by 2017. The prediction makes total sense considering how quickly their user base is increasing—a number that is also expected to surpass G+ and Twitter. [Source]

Considering how quickly all these changes have occurred, it’s likely that there are more big additions coming to Instagram in the next few months that are going really transform the way we think, create and execute about advertising campaigns. We’ll be keeping our eyes peeled!

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