When Facebook bought Instagram last year in a deal worth $1 billion ($300 million in cash and 23 million shares of Facebook stock) many questioned, and still continue to question, why the social media giant was buying a company that had never made a cent. The Wall Street Journal managed to get a hold of the director of business operations for Instagram Emily White who has been tasked with making money from the photo sharing service. She revealed to the WSJ that Instagram had recently passed the 150 million unique monthly user number and that Instagram should be ready to begin selling advertising within the next year.
The move to bring in advertising will be a radical shift for the entire Instagram team who have only ever had to concentrate on rolling out new features like Instagram Video to its users. The team which famously only had 13 staff members when they were acquired has grown to 50 under the watch of Facebook as they begin to focus on things like analytics and advertiser relations that will be vital to future revenue coming from ad sales.