Instagram Expands Adverts Outside U.S., Targets UK, Canada, Australia

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By Esther Tanquintic-Misa | June 11, 2014 3:01 PM EST

Instagram, Facebook's photo-sharing application, will be expanding its advertising reach outside of the U.S. to target users based in the UK, Canada and Australia.

"Since introducing ads last November, we've worked with a handful of top brands to draw creative inspiration from the community and create ads that were engaging and felt natural in people's feeds," Instagram said in its blog.

"So far, our community-focused efforts are working ... We're excited to build on this momentum, and in the coming months we will extend the same level of care and consideration as we introduce ads on Instagram to our global community."

Debra Aho Williamson, a principal analyst, social media and eMarketer, told portal The Drum the company's advertising rollout campaign is but a logical step.

"(The plan) will enable global brand advertisers to extend their Instagram efforts outside the US. Instagram has purposely been cautious about rolling out ads in the US, so I expect similar cautious and calculated programs in these countries."

Instagram gradually introduced advertising in November to its more than 200 million members.

"I think they've proven that people are willing to tolerate and, sometimes more than that, embrace ads that are relevant, that aren't put too frequently within their conversational stream," Mark Mahaney, a managing director and analyst at RBC Dominion Securities Inc., told the Globe and Mail.

Of the three target countries, the UK and Canada are the most important markets for Instagram, having 27.3 per cent and 20 per cent, respectively, of Internet users on the platform, a survey by eMarketer said.

"In the future we'll also look to introduce ads on Instagram to additional countries across the world," Instagram said.

Facebook acquired Instagram in 2012 for $700 million.

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