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Instagram grows advertiser base

News, 25 February 2016

MENLO PARK: Instagram has amassed a pool of more than 200,000 monthly active advertisers in the five months since the photo-sharing app opened up its advertising to businesses globally.

That total puts it ahead of Twitter, on 140,000, but still well behind parent Facebook, which claims over 2m active advertisers.

In a blog post announcing the development, Instagram highlighted the variety of advertisers that were addressing the various community interests on the site – from selling concert tickets to increasing downloads of a mobile gaming app or building awareness of a small business for book lovers.

James Quarles, Instagram's head of business and brand development, told TechCrunch that more advertisers were likely to mean a better user experience, since they would now see ads relevant to their particular interests.

More advertisers needn't mean more ads, he said, explaining that the number of ads seen is "commensurate with amount of time spent on Instagram".

Three quarters of these advertisers are outside the US, operating in more than 200 countries, and Instagram reported they were seeing meaningful results from their campaigns.

Examples included REWE, the German supermarket, which ran ads showing young mothers how to make simple meals using their products. The combination of tasty photos and inspiring copy generated a massive 37-point lift in ad recall, which Instagram noted was 6.1 times higher than Nielsen's norms.

Small businesses have also found success. Framebridge, a US framing company, targeted people who had visited their site in last 30 days and those who had added a frame to their cart, but didn't check out in the last 60 days with a campaign that included a series of photo ads with a Shop Now button. The cost to acquire a new customer decreased by 71%.

An Instagram user survey carried out late in 2015 found that 60% of Instagram users say they learn about products and services on Instagram and 75% say they take action after being inspired by an Instagram post.

Data sourced from Instagram, TechCrunch; additional content by Warc staff