Facebook is gearing up to accelerate its advertising offering within Instagram in the near future.
On the company’s Q2 2015 earnings call, chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg disclosed plans to open up more ad inventory for marketers, as well as debut new formats, add better targeting, and introduce the option to buy ads through third-party resellers.
Don’t get too worked up yet around how this will impact your beloved Instagram feed. Sandberg didn’t give a specific timeframe for when these features will be introduced, but promised the company will move cautiously: “Our highest focus is on the consumer experience on Instagram.”
Analysts expected Facebook to release information about Instagram’s monetization efforts this quarter, but that didn’t happen. If you believe an eMarketer report released earlier this week, Instagram is estimated to bring in $595 million in revenue this year through its display advertisements alone. And with an audience of 300 million monthly active users, marketers are chomping at the bit to find out what else they’ll be able to do to tap into this audience.
Both CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Sandberg were asked multiple times about Instagram’s monetization plans during the call. Ultimately, Sandberg replied that while there was a lot of opportunity with the app, Facebook was going to try to be strategic about the next steps.
“Instagram remains relatively small compared to Facebook, and it will take some time for it to have an impact on our growth,” said Sandberg.
Facebook launched ads on Instagram in 2013 and has slowly evolved to include carousel ads and video ads. And while the company has struck partnerships with major brands and one of the largest ad agencies, it’s not open to everyone. This could change as Facebook learns what Instagram users are comfortable with.
So while today’s earnings call may appear to be what marketers want to hear, both Zuckerberg and Sandberg say the focus is on finding a happy balance between ads and what’s best for the user (at least, for now).