Sales & Marketing

Half a million businesses now advertise on Instagram – are you one of them?

3 min read

23 September 2016

Former deputy editor

Instagram has more than doubled its advertiser headcount in the past six months, as it has reached the milestone for 500,000 a month.

Acquired by Facebook for $1bn when it was yet to make a profit as a photography app, Instagram is seemingly on a mission to become a key digital tool that online marketers can’t do without.

Supporting large brands and SMEs alike, Instagram launched a batch of new tools in August including the option to give companies more exposure with a business profile revamp, which 1.5m firms have opted for.

According to the social network, the 500,000 advertiser milestone now reached means it has more than doubled the number of companies using it for marketing over the past six months.

It’s not the only milestone the company has celebrated in 2016, as the firm has also crossed the threshold for 500m global users. Instagram said it’s “growing and diverse community is becoming where advertisers build their brand and turn passions into purchase”.

The top five sectors for advertising on Instagram currently are: consumer packaged goods, ecommerce, retail, entertainment and tech. More than one billion ad-related actions have taken place in the one year since the ad platform was opened up.

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“Just one year ago we opened up our advertising platform, and it’s incredible to think there are now half a million advertisers using Instagram to connect with our diverse global community and to drive meaningful business results,” said Amy Cole, head of brand development EMEA at Instagram.

“Over the last year we’ve introduced a host of creative tools and ad formats, making Instagram a powerful place for brands to drive awareness and turn inspiration into action. We’re particularly proud that so many of the advertisers using our platform are smaller brands who are growing their businesses with us.”

Highlighted figures also revealed half of Instagram users follow a business, while 60 per cent have said they learn about products or services on the platform.

Vinaya, a designer wearable tech firm, has been able to target relevant audiences across cities and countries, according to the company’s marketing director Kerem Atasoy.

He said: “As a growing business, we have to make sure we are laser-focused on everything we do – particularly marketing.

Whether people have a passion for wellness, fitness or fashion – and are living in New York, London, or Sydney – we can connect with those people quickly on Instagram. And it’s so great to have this data and global reach directly at our fingertips.”

Elsewhere, Facebook’s other social property WhatsApp has updated its privacy terms to reflect a new business communication focus.