White comes to Instagram from Facebook, and has been tasked with turning the revenue-free Instagram into a moneymaker for Facebook, which purchased the photo-sharing app in April 2012. She said that Instagram’s future ads could potentially include the Discover tab, where the Popular page and the Search page reside.
Presumably, brands would be able to promote their own content, or maybe even advertise using keywords in search. According to the WSJ interview, Instagram is hesitant to give brands the opportunity to link to their own websites from within the app.
Brands are already quite active on Instagram, champing at the bit to engage with its 150 million monthly active users. According to Nitogram50, 13 of the top brand accounts on Instagram have over a million users each.
Many campaigns ask for user submissions under a certain hashtag, with some sort of award or special use of the image. For example, RedBull sent participants a can of their new color editions for submitting creative photos under the hashtag. Those photos were then used in collage ads around the UK.
Other campaigns are more about a broadcast that deepens the relationship with the customer, as seemed to be the case with Starbucks’ “Behind the Scenes” campaign.