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Insta-billboard: Instagram's active advertisers grow from zero to 500,000 in one year

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One year ago, Instagram opened up advertising to businesses around the globe. Five months after launching, the Facebook-owned photo sharing site announced it had hit 200,000 advertisers sharing products and services on its platform.

Today, Instagram has more than doubled the number of active advertisers announcing it now has 500,000 active advertisers.

In addition to advertisers, Instagram seems to be pulling in more businesses than ever, claiming that over 1.5 million Instagram users have switched their accounts over to business profiles, an option that officially launched earlier this year.

Over one billion user interactions have taken place on “sponsored” posts since opening up advertising a year ago, an amount that shouldn’t be too surprising considering over 50 percent of Instagram users follow a business.

As an anecdote illustrating the potential of Instagram advertising, Instagram shares the story of handbag brand Dagne Dover. With the help of targeted advertising and the “Shop Now” button used in sponsored posts, Dagne Dover doubled its traffic and achieved a 13-fold return on its advertising investment over a two-month period.

In its announcement blog post, Instagram hinted that new ad formats are just around the corner. These new formats should further help businesses deliver content-specific ads to Instagram users.

Speaking to TechCrunch, Instagram’s vice president and general manager of monetization, James Quarles, said there’s no definitive answer to whether or not ads will become more frequent in users’ timelines. More than frequency, Instagram’s focus is on delivering relevant, tailored ads so the ads find the right users at the right time to make the most of advertisers’ investments.

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