While Instagram has just announced that it has reached 150 million active users, it's also revealed that it has plans to leverage that reach too. Speaking to to The Wall Street Journal, Instagram has declared it will feature ads within a year.
While Instagram is currently ad-free, that looks set to change. Emily White, Instagram's director of business operations, spoke to the newspaper, which explains that "Ms. White said it should be ready to begin selling ads within the next year." It's the first explicit recognition that the photo-sharing network will one day feature ads.
There's no set date for ads being rolled out, and for that matter it remains unclear how they'll make their way into user feeds too. Indeed, White pointed out to the Journal that the challenge is to "figure out how to integrate marketing without jeopardising Instagram's cool factor."
What we do know is that it's already courting some big brands. White apparently cataloged every major brand account on Instagram, and then went to meet 'em — including Ford, Williams-Sonoma, and Coca-Cola in the last week alone. The WSJ hints that ads may appear in the app's Discover page and search feature, but that is firmly speculative.
What is certain, however, is that our currently clean and friend-focussed Instagram feeds probbaly won't stay that way for long. Make the most of it while you can. [Instagram]