Likely seeking for more ways to generate revenue through the photo app, Facebook has significantly increased the volume of ad impressions that are being served to Instagram users over the last few months. Detailed by an advertising network called Brand Networks, the company is reporting a massive uptick in available ad impressions during the last six months of 2015.
Specifically, Brand Networks served approximately 50 million ad impressions on Instagram during August 2015. That number doubled to 100 million in September and continued to dramatically rise until breaking through 650 million impressions during December 2015. Brand Networks expects this trend to continue over the first three months of 2016, potentially hitting one billion ad impressions by March 2016.
Interestingly, a large volume of these ads were video rather than traditional static image banner ads. Speaking with Business Insider, Brand Networks CEO Jamie Tedford said “This content type (video) is experiencing a meteoric ascent to prominence in Instagram ad campaigns much faster than expected. A shocking 92% of the ad impressions we served on Cyber Monday were video ads.”
Reaching a specific type of Instagram user can be expensive depending on subject matter. Fashion advertisers, for instance, pay significantly more to reach an Instagram user than advertisers in the real estate or travel industry.
Of course, Facebook runs the risk of annoying Instagram users with this massive shift into serving more online advertisements. If users dislike the uptick in advertisements, they may start looking for alternative apps to Instagram or simply just stop using the app entirely. Facebook hasn’t reported on growth in Instagram users since hitting 400 million users during late September 2015. Roughly 75 percent of those users live outside the United States; a fact that likely forces advertisers to target ads to users in specific regions of the world.