Ever since Facebook acquired Instagram for a cool billion in 2012 we knew it was only a matter of time until Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO and founder of the social network, threw some ads on the photo-sharing app to monetize the popular service. Well, yesterday at the company’s quarterly earnings call he finally confirmed that Instagram ads are on the way. Zuckerberg did not offer a specific timetable for when we can expect to see them.
For now, Facebook appears content to focus on expanding Instagram’s user base and feature set before it starts making a profit off of the service. The photo and video app already has a clear lead over its competition and continues to grow at a rapid pace. Last month, the app boasted 130 million monthly active users who uploaded 16 billion photos, though apparently that’s not enough for Zuckerberg.
“We expect over time to generate a lot of profit from [Instagram],” he said during the Q2 earnings call. “We think the right focus for now is to continue increasing the footprint of Instagram and, when the right time comes, we’ll think about advertising.”
That may not sound like the most ominous of warnings, but considering how aggressively Facebook pushes advertising on its own site we can’t imagine the company will hold back when it comes to monetizing Instagram.