The inevitable Imperial March towards Instagram ads is well underway

The inevitiable Imperial March towards Instagram ads is well underway
Time for Instagram to earn its keep

Instagram has admitted that the halcyon days of commercial-free feeds of filtered photos are coming to an end, with plans afoot to integrate advertisements within the next year.

Speaking to the Wall Street Journal, Instagram's Facebook-appointed chief operating officer Emily White said the time is come for Instagram to begin making the transition from uber-cool app to money-spinner.

The photo-sharing app, purchased by Facebook last year for $1 billion in cash and stock (around £630m AU$1.08bn), faces the challenge of producing a return on the investment, without turning off an army of loyal users.

Ms White said: "We want to make money in the long term, but we don't have any short-term pressure."

Keeping the cool factor

It's likely that users will be 'treated' to filtered photos from brands keen to enjoy a slice of the Instagram's cool factor. We're thinking fashion labels, tech companies, cool alcohol brands, etc.

It's also possible that the company will be begin charging brands who already enjoy a sizeable following on the app to promote their Instagram posts to a wider audience, a la Facebook.

Of course, we could also see auto-playing video commercials adorning our Instagram feeds.

Will the addition of ads see threats of a mass boycott in the same way the initial Facebook acquisition provoked a backlash? Or will Instagram users just take it in their heavily-filtered stride?

Chris Smith

A technology journalist, writer and videographer of many magazines and websites including T3, Gadget Magazine and He specializes in applications for smartphones, tablets and handheld devices, with bylines also at The Guardian, WIRED, Trusted Reviews and Wareable. Chris is also the podcast host for The Liverpool Way. As well as tech and football, Chris is a pop-punk fan and enjoys the art of wrasslin'.