Instagram hits 2 million monthly advertisers, doubling in six months (again)

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For the second time in the past year, Instagram’s advertiser base has doubled in six months.

Over the past month, more than 2 million businesses have bought ads on Instagram, the Facebook-owned photo-and-video app announced on Monday. That’s four times as many advertisers as Instagram claimed a year ago and twice as many as it claimed in March 2017 when it crossed the 1-million mark.

Instagram is steadily closing the gap on its parent company, which claimed 5 million advertisers as of April 2017.

Of course, Instagram’s adoption among advertisers is helped by its parent company’s popularity. Two years ago, Facebook enabled brands to buy ads on Instagram through the same self-serve ad-buying tools they used to buy ads on Facebook. As a result, many Facebook advertisers have also become Instagram advertisers with the click of a button. Asked how many of Instagram’s advertisers were also Facebook advertisers, an Instagram spokesperson said the majority of Facebook’s top advertisers also advertise on Instagram.

Instagram has also helped itself by following Facebook’s advertiser playbook, namely when it came to making itself a home for businesses, direct-response advertisers and video ad dollars.

Last year, Instagram rolled out its version of Facebook’s Pages, offering businesses tools to enable them to manage their accounts and pay to promote their organic posts as ads from within its app. In March, Instagram said that 8 million companies had converted their accounts to business profiles.

Originally pitched as a channel for brand advertising, the app has been able to attract direct-response advertisers looking to get people to click on their ads. Instagram faced some early setbacks in winning over these more click-minded marketers, but it has overcome those obstacles in the past year, according to agency execs.

Meanwhile, the increasing popularity of video on Instagram has also increased its popularity among video-hungry brand advertisers, despite early pessimism. According to Instagram, as of June 2017, people were spending more than 80 percent more time watching videos on Instagram than they were a year ago, and the number of videos posted daily had grown fourfold in that time.

About The Author

Tim Peterson, Third Door Media’s Social Media Reporter, has been covering the digital marketing industry since 2011. He has reported for Advertising Age, Adweek and Direct Marketing News. A born-and-raised Angeleno who graduated from New York University, he currently lives in Los Angeles. He has broken stories on Snapchat’s ad plans, Hulu founding CEO Jason Kilar’s attempt to take on YouTube and the assemblage of Amazon’s ad-tech stack; analyzed YouTube’s programming strategy, Facebook’s ad-tech ambitions and ad blocking’s rise; and documented digital video’s biggest annual event VidCon, BuzzFeed’s branded video production process and Snapchat Discover’s ad load six months after launch. He has also developed tools to monitor brands’ early adoption of live-streaming apps, compare Yahoo’s and Google’s search designs and examine the NFL’s YouTube and Facebook video strategies.


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