According to a report by The Information, Facebook executives last year told Instagram to “roughly double” the number of ads that the platform shows to its users.
Facebook acquired Instagram in 2012 for roughly $1 billion USD. The Information reports that “Facebook’s chief operating officer, Sheryl Sandberg, congratulated the leaders of Instagram, which she said had graduated from a side bet to become a meaningful part of Facebook’s overall business.”
Ads on the ‘Explore’ Section
During a company earnings call last October, Mark Zuckerberg described Instagram’s Explore section as an “opportunity” for revenue. Instagram started displaying ads in the “Explore” section since June 2018.
The latest revelations suggest that Instagram leadership is under pressure from Facebook to increase the number of advertisements on the platform further.
Compared to Facebook, Instagram has only limited spots where it can show advertisements. When there are no ad-free spots left, increasing the number of ads becomes the way forward.
Beyond Revenue Pressure
The tension between Facebook and Instagram is not limited to revenue matters, though. Reports suggest that Facebook has reasons to believe that Instagram might eclipse Facebook, the company’s core service.
The Information reports that a section of the executives expect Instagram to support Facebook because it was Facebook who facilitated the growth of the app. These executives think it is time for Instagram to “return the favor.”
Chief executive Kevin Systrom and chief technical officer Mike Krieger, who founded Instagram in 2010, have already resigned from the company. Only time will tell how these new changes pushed down from the Facebook leadership will influence Instagram and its future.
Do you think Instagram should keep its focus on growing the platform or heed to Facebook’s requests and spend more screen real estate on advertisements?