Facebook has said that the photo-sharing service it acquired for US$715 million will soon be monetised — that means ads.
They say that there is no such thing as a free lunch. This will no doubt upset many of Instagram's loyal user base who spend most of their time applying filters to their midday meal.
Regardless, putting ads in Instagram seems inevitable. While many brands have been quick to start up their own accounts and post enough visual content that photo streams could start to look like ads in themselves, it's never been something that Instagram (and subsequently, Facebook) could monetise.
In an interview with Business Insider, Facebook's vice president of global marketing solutions, Carolyn Everson, said that it's only a matter of time before Instagram is monetised. As , Facebook has been moving to integrate its offering more closely with Instagram by sharing user data.
The actual form of ads has yet to be confirmed — will it be in-stream promoted ads, like Twitter? Perhaps users might have to pay to use the app to get it ad-free. Which all begs the question: would you still use Instagram if it was ad-supported?