It’s the cycle of digital life: social platform launches, gains ‘it’ girl status, grows membership into the millions (or more), and ultimately needs to nail down that whole monetization thing to remain a social player. For Instagram, which turns three years old this month, that last step–creating a profit for parent company Facebook–has arrived. In this new interview, our Head of Research & Advisory Maureen Mullen talks about how Instagram ads (announced last month and due to debut sometime next year) might change the platform’s experience for users, and offers ideas on how brands’ ads will differ from their regular posted photos.

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