Instagram now has more than 500,000 active advertisers

Instagram’s advertiser base has more than doubled since February, and more than 1.5 million businesses have converted to its business profiles since May.

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A year after officially opening up its ad business to all advertisers, Instagram is getting more and more brands to buy its ads and getting even more businesses to convert to its new-ish business profiles.

Instagram now claims to have more than 500,000 advertisers actively buying its ads each month, up from more than 200,000 in February 2016. And since officially rolling out business-specific Instagram accounts in July 2016, more than 1.5 million business have converted their accounts to business profiles, which let them buy ads within the app and get a better look at how their organic posts are performing; these business profiles are now globally available.

For comparison, Instagram’s parent company Facebook claimed more than 3 million monthly active advertisers as of April 2016, and Twitter claimed more than 130,000 advertisers back in the fourth of quarter of 2015. Neither Facebook nor Twitter have updated their figures since then.

Instagram’s director of market operations, Jim Squires, attributed the photo-and-video app’s advertiser base more than doubling over the last seven months to the ad business’s grand opening, as well as a wave of new capabilities like the roll-outs of direct-response ad formats, a self-serve ad-buying platform and ways to buy ads through third-parties’ automated tools and using Facebook-level targeting.

Of course, it also helps that more than 500 million people use Instagram each month, including 300 million who use it daily. And that those people aren’t averse to Instagram’s ads as more marketers hop on its service. Half of Instagram’s users follow at least one business on the service, according to Instagram.

And while Instagram’s path to establishing its direct-response ad business hasn’t been entirely smooth, Squires said the company has counted more than one billion instances when people took action on one of these ads, such as by clicking on a link, installing an app or visiting an advertiser’s site to do something like register an account. But he wouldn’t say what share of Instagram’s advertisers have run at least one direct-response ad on its platform. He also wouldn’t say what share of Instagram’s ads are photos versus videos, a newer format that Instagram and Facebook have been successfully pushing to advertisers.

The types of advertisers spending the most money on Instagram’s ads are consumer packaged-goods brands, ecommerce companies, retailers, entertainment companies and tech firms, according to Squires. The app’s biggest sources of advertisers, in order, are in the US, Brazil, the United Kingdom, Australia and Canada, he said, declining to update the company’s seven-month-old stat regarding what share of Instagram’s advertisers are outside of the US.

Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily MarTech. Staff authors are listed here.

About the author

Tim Peterson
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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