Instagram users in India to start receiving ads soon

Instagram launches its advertising platform in more than 30 countries besides India today, plans to cover remaining markets by 30 September


The user base for Instagram in India for July 2015 is estimated to be 5.9 million monthly active mobile users, according to data from digital agency Interactive Avenues Pvt. Ltd that works closely with Facebook in India. Photo: AFP
The user base for Instagram in India for July 2015 is estimated to be 5.9 million monthly active mobile users, according to data from digital agency Interactive Avenues Pvt. Ltd that works closely with Facebook in India. Photo: AFP

New Delhi: Indian users of popular photo sharing application Instagram, owned by social networking site Facebook Inc., will now start receiving advertisements on the platform. “Instagram is open for business and available to advertisers large and small. We’re excited to announce that starting this month, advertisers... can run campaigns on Instagram,” the company said in a blogpost on Tuesday.

These ads are now available in more than 30 countries besides India, including Italy, Spain, Mexico and South Korea, and will be launched in remaining markets around the world on September 30.

The user base for Instagram in India for July 2015 is estimated to be 5.9 million monthly active mobile users, according to data from digital agency Interactive Avenues Pvt. Ltd that works closely with Facebook in India. Globally, Instagram reached 300 million monthly active users as of December 2014.

Speaking about the ad rollout on Instagram, Kirthiga Reddy, managing director at Facebook India, said, “The pace at which people are coming on to mobile, to Internet, getting online, is staggering. We are in a country with the highest rate of Internet adoption. So that’s trend number one. Trend number two is towards visual communication. People are increasingly visual whether it’s emojis, stickers, photos, images, videos. Video is growing at a staggering rate globally as well as in India. Instagram beautifully sets out the confluence of these two trends.”

In India, Instagram will see ads from four partners—traditional Indian drinks brand PaperBoat, operated by Hector Beverages Pvt. Ltd; haircare brand TRESemmé, owned by Unilever; chocolate brand Kitkat, owned by Nestle India Pvt. Ltd; and men’s razor brand Gillette, owned by Proctor and Gamble.

While Kitkat will use the 30-second video ad format on Instagram, the other three brands have chosen the still imagery format.

Gillete plans to launch its new men’s razor with this Instagram campaign. “As a new mobile advertising product, we believe that Instagram is a natural match to build brand engagement among our key audience in a visually creative manner that brings to life what Gillette Proglide Flexball has to offer,” said Sonali Dhawan, brand director at P&G.

“Instagram has been gaining traction in India and we (Unilever) have been early adopters of the platform. Instagram is helping TRESemmé tell compelling brand stories visually and with extensive reach in the brand’s target audience, something that Instagram is uniquely positioned to deliver,” said Gaurav Jeet Singh, head of media services, India and South Asia, Unilever.

According to Anusha Shetty, chief executive at Autumn Worldwide, a Bengaluru-based social media marketing agency, growth at Instagram is aggressive. “The last year has made a huge difference in this explosion. At this rate, Instagram can overtake Twitter in India,” she said.

A recent study on media habits conducted by Autumn Worldwide showed that Instagram was the second-most preferred platform after Facebook for photo sharing. The study was conducted across Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad and Bengaluru among 1,200 people between the age of 16 and 24 years. In Bengaluru, Facebook and Instagram emerged as equal choices for photos.

Instagram ads are also being used by both Republican and Democratic candidates for the upcoming 2016 US elections, said a report by The Wall Street Journal.

Instagram ads are currently available in the US, Canada, UK, Germany, France, Brazil, Australia and Japan. The ads were first launched in the US in November 2013. Users upload 70 million photos on Instagram in a day globally.

The ad sales team for Facebook and Instagram will be the same.

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