How Instagram became an advertising powerhouse

By afaqs! news bureau, New Delhi, June 15, 2017
With its photos and videos, Instagram has taught brands to think far beyond banner ads.
JCrew goes beyond banner ads in this recent Instagram Story

Instagram, which was acquired by Facebook five years ago, has created a 'cultural conveyor belt of photos and videos'. CEO and founder Kevin Systrom has generated a digital platform that is used by more than a million advertisers a month.

Instagram has grown rapidly. It now has 700 million monthly users with 200 million of them engaging with vertical videos every day through Instagram Stories, an idea that was - ironically - taken from rival Snapchat. Instagram has outpaced Snapchat by quite a bit with its version of the disappearing Story feature. Users on Instagram can share what is happening at any moment and post normal images too. Any image posted to a Story stays live for just 24 hours. After that, it's gone. It is the near-perfect way to share live events without clogging up one's feed. But how did Instagram get to pole position?

Shortly before rolling out Stories in August last year, Instagram decided to alter its mission statement by "strengthening relationships through shared experiences." That dictum allowed users to share their day. What followed was Stories and Instagram Live video, with more features to come. Beta advertisers like LG and Nike said they're pleased with the results they've seen so far.

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