October 4, 2013, 10:10 AM

Instagram introduces ads

Instagram will introduce photo and video ads in U.S. users' feeds.

Zak Stambor

Managing Editor

Lead Photo

Instagram says it plans to introduce photo and video ads in U.S. users’ feeds in the next few months. The ads will be for brands that users don’t already follow.

“Seeing photos and videos from brands you don’t follow will be new, so we’ll start slow,” Instagram wrote in a blog post. “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 says it wants the ads to “feel as natural to Instagram as the photos and videos many of you already enjoy from your favorite brands.”

That’s a similar approach to many of Facebook and Twitter’s most popular ad units that enable a brand to pay to get their posts to appear in users’ feeds.

Facebook bought Instagram last year for $1 billion, despite Instagram having yet to figure out a way to monetize its large user base. Adding ads is a way to generate revenue from the social network’s 150 million users and make Instagram a “sustainable business,” Instagram writes in the blog post.

The move was not unexpected. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg noted during Facebook’s July earning call that Instagram would add advertising “when the right time comes,” adding “I think that’s going to be a really big opportunity.”

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