Instagram Preparing to Sell Ads

The coveted millennial demographic is elusive to advertisers due to its prevailing savvy that comes from being a digitally native generation.  Much of the effort to reach these tough customers has been focused on social media, and another player is about to enter the game. Image sharing giant Instagram is on the path to monetization following its acquisition by Facebook last year, and director of business operations Emily White is ready to begin selling ad packages on the service.  Brands are already using Instagram to run viral campaigns for free, but many have expressed an interest in more formal advertising options.  There is fear that excessive advertising could drive users, especially millennials, away from the service, so there is explicit focus being placed on the development of Instagram’s ad program’s seamlessness.  Only time will tell what shape this final presentation will take, but it could quite possibly shift how we think about ads in the app space, given Instagram’s oversimplified user interface which currently shows few obvious options for ad placement.