Thanks, Facebook: Ads Are Coming To Instagram In 2014

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Quick, tell me what you thought when Facebook bought Instagram last year. Your first thought — more of a feeling, really — was probably an impending sense of doom, as if a planet with the face of a demon had just been announced to be hurtling towards Earth. But after that passed and you realized Facebook buying Instagram wasn’t going to be the end of the world, my guess is you mostly just shrugged and said, “I wonder how long it will take them to mess it all up with ads.”

Well, Facebook is taking it slow. In fact, seventeen months after they first purchased Instagram, they’re only now starting to talk about how they’re going to mess it all up with ads! Thanks for the restraint, Facebook.

Speaking to The Wall Street Journal this weekend, Instagram’s director of business operations Emily White talked about how Instagram was setting itself up to monetize. They company just announced that they had 150 million users, yet up until now, there’s still not a single ad in sight. But they’re coming.

As director of business operations, the 35-year-old Ms. White effectively is the new chief operating officer of Instagram, the point person charged with turning a billion-dollar acquisition that has never made a cent into a real business. Mr. Systrom, co-founder of Instagram, still makes the ultimate decisions, but it is Ms. White who is responsible for courting brand marketers and laying the foundation for advertising.

There are no ads on Instagram, but Ms. White said it should be ready to begin selling ads within the next year.

So you’ve got a year until Facebook ruins Instagram. Good to know. I realize ads are a depressing necessity of monetizing free Internet services, but Facebook’s approach to advertising is more egregious than most companies. And just think, they haven’t even started selling your Instagram data yet!

  • saddington

    Oh. Time for some alternatives.. like Pressgram! :P

  • iannuttall

    I don’t think it’s going to be a problem. I doubt there will be more ads on IG than there are on Cult of Mac, so it’s fair game right? ;)

  • inorganik

    I love how you write an article whining about a company trying to be profitable and monetize while your page is plastered with banner ads over hover ads. Nice one!

  • cgharvey

    Adblock for iOS would be welcome on a non-jailbroken iPhone.

    I would rather pay for a service than be hammer-phucked with advertising. I detest ads.

  • rammo123

    Adblock for iOS would be welcome on a non-jailbroken iPhone.

    I would rather pay for a service than be hammer-phucked with advertising. I detest ads.

    Yeah sometimes I forget that there are ads on the internet. Then I try and use facebook on my iPhone.

About the author

John BrownleeJohn Brownlee is a Contributing Editor. He has also written for Wired, Playboy, Boing Boing, Popular Mechanics, VentureBeat, and Gizmodo. He lives in Boston with his wife and two parakeets. You can follow him here on Twitter.

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