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December 12, 2012

Instagram Owner Facebook Acknowledges Plans to Monetize the Site

By Brittany Walters-Bearden, TMCnet Contributor

Everyone knew it was only a matter of time before Instagram monetized its site.

With Facebook’s (News - Alert) purchase of Instagram, that time now looms in the very near future. There have been hints that the ad-free site would eventually open a revenue stream, but those hints became reality this week.

Carolyn Everson, Facebook’s vice president of global marketing solutions, told Jim Edwards of Business Insider that the company has plans to monetize the site, but those plans have not been fully cemented yet.

“…Instagram continues to grow incredibly fast, and we’re still a very small team when you think about the amount of people they are reaching… We will definitely be figuring out a monetization strategy. When that will happen, I can’t comment, but it’s going to happen,” she said.

While it’s easy to assume that Everson is talking about ads when she talks about monetization, based on the giant ad machine that Facebook has created for its own site, she never directly mentions ads – only that there will be a way to indeed generate income. 

Although paying for memberships is unlikely (again, based on Facebook’s own strategy), there may be other methods of monetizing the site, like the promoted posts that Facebook has recently introduced.

Many businesses have already started using Instagram to engage with their consumers, so it would only seem fair that the company that owns the site has plans to jump in on the action. Although Instagram users may be sad to see its current, ad-free incarnation go, most people had to realize that this was coming. 

Since it is owned by Facebook and Facebook recently announced plans to use data collected on its site to market to users outside of Facebook, Instagram users should be aware that a similar strategy is possible for the site as the company seeks to monetize it.

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Edited by Braden Becker
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