A Photo Illustration Shows The Applications Facebook And Instagram On The Screen Of An iPhone In Zagreb
IN PHOTO: A photo illustration shows the applications Facebook and Instagram on the screen of an iPhone in Zagreb April 9, 2012. Facebook announced on Monday that it will pay $1 billion in cash and stock for photo-sharing application Instagram, making its largest-ever acquisition months before the No. 1 social media website is expected to go public. The popular Instagram application, which allows users to add filters and effects to pictures taken on their smartphones, has gained about 30 million users since it first launched in January 2011. REUTERS/Antonio Bronic

Instagram opened its platform to advertisers across the globe on Sept. 9 in a bid for higher income. The photo sharing app intends to rival Snapchat in terms of revenue.

Ads, which were previously available only in eight countries, will now debut in more than 20 others including Italy, Spain and India, said Instagram. Over 200 countries will have ads by Sept. 30.

Instagram has 300 million active users every month. It has the upper hand over rivals because of parent Facebook’s huge trove of consumer data that allows Instagram to target audiences more precisely. This is a major selling point for advertisers.

It would have taken Instagram years to build some of this technology without Facebook, according to James Quarles, global head of business and brand development at Instagram. He said the new video formats are an effort to attract film producers since the layout is ideal for movie trailers and premieres.

Users comfortable with mostly ad-free Instagram feeds may rebel, however. For the past two years, Victoria’s Secret and Old Navy were some of the few brands allowed by Instagram.

Until Sept. 9, Instagram ads were only available in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Japan, Australia, Germany, France and Brazil.

Advertisers have been demanding the chance to get on the popular photo sharing app to tap its user base of teenagers and young adults. Advertisers want to use the app’s ability to leverage data from Facebook’s 1.5 billion users.

Facebook purchased Instagram for AU$1.43 billion in 2012. Mobile advertising is dominated by Facebook. Over 75 percent of Facebook’s AU$5.4 billion ad revenue comes from phones.

Instagram’s ad revenue is projected to reach AU$2.14 billion in 2016, according to eMarketer, a research firm. Ad revenue is expected to nearly double to AU$4 billion by 2017.

Instagram has been working to provide more creative options for advertisers. New layout options along with its signature square introduced last month for pictures and videos allow more design flexibility.

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