Instagram says ads coming 'in the next couple months'

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Facebook (NASDAQ:FB)-owned photo sharing application Instagram said it will roll out paid advertisements within the next few months as it accelerates its effort to build a sustainable business.

"In the next couple months, you may begin seeing an occasional ad in your Instagram feed if you're in the United States," Instagram said in a blog post. "Seeing photos and videos from brands you don't follow will be new, so we'll start slow. We'll focus on 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. Our aim is to make any advertisements you see feel as natural to Instagram as the photos and videos many of you already enjoy from your favorite brands."

Instagram promised ads will be "enjoyable and creative," also vowing consumers will maintain control over the user experience: "If you see an ad you don't like, you'll be able to hide it and provide feedback about what didn't feel right." Instagram users also will retain ownership over their own photos and videos.

Instagram ran afoul of users in late 2012 when it proposed privacy policy and terms of service changes tied to planned advertising services, later reverting to the original ad terms in place since the service launched in October 2010. Too much overt marketing could undermine Instagram's continued growth, observers say. "Theoretically, [Instagram] could be making hundreds of millions of dollars today, but they would need a big sales force and they would risk polluting the environment," Brian Wieser, an analyst at Pivotal Research Group, told The Wall Street Journal last month.

Facebook acquired Instagram for $715 million last year. The app, which is available for Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iOS and Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android, enables users to snap, filter and manipulate photos and then upload their work to social media sites. More than 150 million users worldwide now capture and share moments each month. Instagram added video recording and sharing capabilities in June, a move to combat the growth of Twitter's popular Vine video app.

For more:
- read this Instagram Blog post

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