In its first-ever forecast of how much advertisers will spend on Instagram, research firm eMarketer predicts that the social network will bring in US$595 million in mobile ad revenue this year worldwide and overtake Google and Twitter in the US by 2017.
At the moment, Instagram’s advertising platform is only available in eight markets: the US, UK, France, Germany, Brazil, Canada, Australia and most recently, Japan. For now, the vast majority of Instagram’s advertising revenue will come from the US, says eMarketer.
Whilst the social network has not confirmed any details on its plans to roll out ads across Asia-Pacific, the platform has announced its next step for its ad product, with newer formats and broader availability.
With 300 million active monthly users—70 per cent of whom are outside the US—a global rollout of Instagram ads seems inevitable.
“I'm confident there will be a queue of brands in APAC waiting to sign up for Instagram ads,” said Simon Kemp, regional managing partner for Asia at We Are Social and founder of strategic marketing consultancy Kepios. “Instagram is a hugely popular platform for affluent young people around the region, and one that offers some great creative opportunities too. What's more, it's 100 per cent mobile optimised, so it's a great way to connect with people when they're out and about.”
Instagram’s global mobile advertising revenues will reach $2.81 billion by 2017, according to eMarketer
eMarketer’s report adds that Instagram’s global mobile advertising revenues will reach $2.81 billion by 2017, accounting for more than 10 per cent of parent company Facebook’s global ad revenue.
Asked if his agency was looking to embrace Instagram, Kevin Walsh, chief digital officer at Carat Asia Pacific, said: “Very much so. In essence Instagram launching changes how advertisers will engage with Facebook. It’s no longer about a single entity, albeit a very big one. It’s about dealing with Facebook as Facebook Inc: multiple platforms with unique traits but with the ability to target, engage and track a user from platform to platform."
Walsh added that Carat was the first agency to trial Instagram ads in the relatively uncluttered environment of Australia and has seen "very good" campaign results so far.
Whilst the sentiment toward Instagram’s ad product is largely positive, Kemp warns that brands—and Instagram itself—need to tread carefully when ads arrive on the platform in the region.
“Too much interruption will destroy the Instagram experience and erode people's love of the platform," he said. "Provided brands use ads to add value to the Instagram experience, they should be OK, but if we're going to end up with the Instagram 'flyer ads' for real estate, insurance and diet pills, it'll only be a (short) matter of time before users leave in droves.”
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- Campaign Asia-Pacific has teamed up with Instagram to bring you a monthly series looking at the creative ways that the photo and video-sharing social network is being used in different markets. Most recently, we took a closer look at how users are embracing Instagram in Japan.