As the company announced today that it has reached 150 million active users, Instagram told The Wall Street Journal that it's preparing to introduce advertising. Emily White, Instagram's director of business operations, said that the service should be ready to begin selling ads within the next year. While Facebook has already confirmed plans to "monetize" Instagram, White's comments are the first explicit recognition that Instagram will eventually contain ads.
Since being acquired by Facebook last year, Instagram has added more than 100 million users. The company has added 20 million users since June of this year.
While there's no solid date for when Instagram will start displaying ads to its users, the Journal says that White is briskly courting advertisers. After reportedly "reviewing every business function" in the company, Instagram expanded to 50 employees, including four staff who manage relationships with brands. The Journal says that White led a charge to catalog every major brand account on Instagram, and then went to meet those companies; White reportedly met with Ford, Williams-Sonoma, and Coca-Cola just last week. "We want to make money in the long-term, but we don't have any short-term pressure," White told the Journal.
There's also no word yet about what ads on Instagram would look like, but the WSJ reports that the team could possibly go after placement in the app's Discover page and search feature. White also reportedly indicated that advertisers are interested in linking pictures of products to their websites.