The inevitable Imperial March towards Instagram ads is well underway

The inevitiable Imperial March towards Instagram ads is well underway

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?