Instagram ads have been rumored ever since Facebook acquired the service in April 2012, and today were made official.
In an announcement on its official blog, Instagram says ads are coming “in the next couple months.”
We have big ideas for the future, and part of making them happen is building Instagram into 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. 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.
Similar to Facebook, users will also be able to hide ads they do not like, and share specific feedback to improve the experience.
Previous reports estimated ads would hit the photo/video service next year, but like the Twitter IPO, things appear to be ahead of schedule.
In early September, Instagram announced it now has 150 million monthly active users, adding 50 million users in just six months.
While ads will only initially be seen by users based in the U.S., over 60 percent of users are outside of the United States.