Instagram will start to show adverts within its photo sharing app in the US, as the company looks to build itself into a “sustainable business”.
A blog post on the Instagram website said users will see “an occasional ad in your Instagram feed” over the next couple of months.
The company said that seeing photos and videos from brands that users don’t already follow will be a new experience so it will start slowly by “delivering a small number of beautiful, high-quality photos and videos from a handful of brands that are already great members of the Instagram community”.
The aim is to make the ads feel as natural to the Instagram experience as possible and users will be able to hide ads they don’t like and provide feedback about any issues they have.
Instagram, which was acquired by Facebook for $1 billion in April 2012, is available as an app on iOS and Android and has 150 million users around the world with more than 60 per cent coming from outside the US.
With wording in the policy appearing to give Instagram the right to sell users’ photos without payment or notification, co-founder Kevin Systrom allayed user fears by saying the service would not claim ownership of users’ photos.
The company emphasised that the introduction of advertising will not change the fact that users own their photos and videos.