Instagram will start rolling out ads in Canada on Monday, the online mobile photo-sharing, video-sharing and social networking service company announced on Tuesday. Canadian users will soon start seeing household name adverts next to their favorite pictures.
Instagram users in the US, UK and Australia already have ads on their system. In Canada, the debut starts with photo adverts from six brands: Air Canada, Travel Alberta, Target, Sport Chek, Mercedes-Benz and Hudson’s Bay.
Canadian users will see advertisements on the accounts followed and posts they like. If your Instagram and Facebook accounts are linked, the ads will also be based on your interests, gender and age, the company said.
You will also have the option to hide any ads you don’t want to see. However, it is not possible to opt out completely.
Facebook acquired Instagram for $1 billion in 2012. Since then, it has doubled Instagram’s user base to over 200 million. The number of shared photographs has more than quadrupled to 20 billion. Facebook now wants to recoup its investment.
Canadians Instagram users will join the ad-exposed Americans, British and Australians.
Facebook’s creative strategist, Helen Park, said:
“Because we’ve always had big ideas for the future for Instagram part of making that happen is ensuring that Instagram becomes a sustainable business.”
Ms. Pak hopes Canadian users won’t be put off by the ads, in fact, she predicts people will hardly notice them.
Ms. Pak said:
“We want to make sure that any ads you see in Instagram feel as natural to the Instagram experience as the photos and videos you already enjoy in your feed.”
Facebook says it has worked closely with advertisers to make sure their photos blended in seamlessly. “We are approving a lot of their creative, the ads are designed to be seamlessly integrated within the existing experience,” Ms. Pak added.
Infrequent Instagram users may see hardly if any ads. Facebook’s communications manager Meg Sinclair said “There’s a chance if someone is a very light user of Instagram, like if they log in a couple of times a week and only follow a couple of different accounts and only spend a minute or two on it, that they wont see any ads at all.”