Instagram Hits 150 Million Active Users, Ads Coming “Within the Next Year”

The Wall Street Journal reports Instagram has now reached 150 million active monthly users, a 50% increase since February:

Instagram said it has more than 150 million monthly active users, a gain of roughly 128 million since Facebook bought the app last year. At that pace, it swiftly is closing in on seven-year-old rival Twitter Inc., which announced it had “well over” 200 million active users in March.

The announcement was first made on Instagram’s blog:

Today we’re excited to announce that Instagram has grown to a community of more than 150 million people capturing and sharing moments every month.

The WSJ also documents how Emily White, who joined Instagram from Facebook as its director of business operations, has the gargantuan task of turning the billion dollar acquisition into a profitable company. How will this be accomplished? Ads soon to follow “within the next year”, notes White:

When Ms. White joined Instagram, the company didn’t even have the outlines of a business. At the beginning of this year, it employed 32 people, largely focused on product, with no one handling customer service, no one on analytics and just one person working with the thousands of brands who had started using the service to promote themselves.

To get the basics in order, Ms. White reviewed every business function in the organization. It now employs 50 people, including two people working on analytics and four people to help manage relationships with brands.

Under Ms. White’s direction, the team cataloged every major brand-marketer account on Instagram. Then she went to meet the companies. Last week she had meetings with Ford Motor Co., Williams-Sonoma Inc. and Coca-Cola Co.

As for how these ads would be implemented, White says possibilities include integration into the app’s Discovery feature. Regardless, Instagram users should expect some sort of advertising to arrive soon.

For now, the social sharing network remains popular enough users have stuck around, given its massive spike in numbers since February. Are you still using Instagram? You can follow us here.

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