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An Instagram photo is shared with Facebook on an iPhone. (Karly Domb Sadof/AP)
An Instagram photo is shared with Facebook on an iPhone. (Karly Domb Sadof/AP)

Persuasion Notebook

Instagram to add ads to its feeds Add to ...

Popular photo-sharing network Instagram will soon begin serving up ads.

After growing its user base to more than 150 million people, and selling to Facebook Inc. for $1-billion last year, the social network is now charged with becoming “a sustainable business,” according to a post on its blog on Thursday.

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Advertising will appear in the “feed” – the stream of photos that users see when they log in – beginning in the U.S. in the next couple of months. Many advertisers have already built accounts on Instagram the way they have pages on Facebook or Twitter ; but paid advertising means they will be able to show their posts even to Instagram users who do not follow them.

At the start, the service will allow users to hide posts from advertisers they dislike. It also compared the “enjoyable and creative” ads it is planning to the “high-quality ads” in magazines.

“We’ll start slow,” the post said.

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