The photo and video sharing application Instagram has inked a $100 million deal with giant advertising firm Omnicom Media Group. Instagram, which is owned by Facebook, will soon begin displaying ads which will look similar to photos and videos presently found on the service, except a “Sponsor” icon will show up in the thumbnail.
Instagram has blossomed into a popular app for Facebook. Originally acquired in 2012 by Facebook for almost $700 million, Instagram currently has almost 150 million users. Simply Measured reported that almost 71 percent of the leading brands were producing content for Instagram in 2013. This was a 55 percent increase over the previous year. The brands currently sponsoring ads on Instagram include Michael Kors, Lexus, Levi’s, Macy’s, Adidas, Burberry, Ben & Jerry’s, Starwood, Paypal, and General Electric.
This latest deal should vastly broaden the number of advertisers on Instagram. Omnicom Media Group includes BBDO, DDB and TBWA/Chiat/Day. This deal should allow these marketing firms to start using Instagram ads for their clients. Jim Squires, the director for marketing operations at Instagram reiterated his company’s commitment to maintaining the quality of content, even from advertisers. He announced that even advertisers will be expected to produce amazing imagery.
Instagram is a photo and video sharing service which allows users to apply digital filters to enhance the quality and appearance of visual products. Photos on Instagram must be in a square format. Videos must be 15 seconds or less in length. These images and videos can then be easily distributed across a number of sites including Twitter, Flickr, Tumblr and, of course, Facebook. It is distributed through the Windows Phone Store, Google Play and the Apple app Store.
Since its acquisition, Instagram grew by almost 23 percent, while Facebook has only grown by three percent. Presently, Facebook has almost 1.3 billion active users, with almost 680 million of these accessing the social media network through mobile devices. With almost 54 million pages on the site, the average user spends 18 minutes per visit and 48 percent of users log in at least once a day.
Instagram has expanded rapidly following its acquisition. Almost 17 percent of all online adults participate on Instagram. Among the most active demographics are 37 percent of all 18 to 29 year olds, 18 percent of 30 to 49 year olds and six percent of all 50 to 64 years who are actively using this service. Almost 57 percent of Instagram users visit the site daily, and 35 percent visit multiple times daily. These statistics demonstrate the enduring popularity of the photos and videos on Instagram, and why this platform is an important one for online companies to join.
In recent months, Instagram has come under fire for new policies which allow the company to use images and videos posted there in marketing ads. Instagram may also share metadata with advertisers. Not surprisingly, more than a few users would like to be compensated if their posts are utilized by commercial entities.