Weekly Digital News Roundup: September 13-17
Instagram Plans to Introduce Ads within the Next Year
- Writes Mashable, Instagram plans to introduce ads in the next year, according to a new report. The Wall Street Journal spoke with Emily White, Instagram’s director of business operations, who revealed that the photo and video-sharing service is laying the groundwork to begin selling ads within the year. “We want to make money in the long term, but we don’t have any short-term pressure,” she said.
- Facebook, which acquired Instagram in 2012 for roughly $750 million, has previously teased the idea of introducing ads on Instagram to justify its investment, but never with a firm timeline. “Kevin [Systrom] has always been clear that we’re building Instagram to be a business and that we expect that over time we’re going to generate a lot of profit from it and probably through advertising,” Facebook’s cofounder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg said during the company’s second quarter earnings call in July.
- Instagram announced Sunday that it hit 150 million monthly active users, up from 100 million in February and from 30 million when Facebook first announced the acquisition in April of last year. Until this point, Facebook and Instagram have largely been focused on growing that user base, but sooner or later the focus shifts to monetizing it. It’s starting to sound like sooner.
Google Adds Authorship To Google+ Sign-In, Launches Google+ Embedded Posts
- According to WebProNews, Google made a couple of noteworthy Google+ announcements [this week] with Google+ Sign-In integration with Authorship and embedded posts. Now when you use Google+ Sign-in to log in to a blog, your work will automatically be connected with your profile, the way content you’ve marked up is. “So if you sign in to WordPress.com with Google, for instance, the articles you publish will now be associated with your Google+ profile automatically,” says Google+ Director of Product Management, Seth Sternberg. “With this association in place, we can look for ways to surface your info when it’s most relevant. For example, today users may see your name, picture and/or a link to your Google+ profile when your content appears in Search, News and other Google products.”
- Twitter has had embedded posts for quite some time, and Facebook has had them since last month (at least for everyone). It was only a matter of time before Google+ followed suit.
- “With embedded posts, site owners can now add your public Google+ posts to their web pages — as a primary source, for example, or to highlight your point of view,” Google says. “Text, photo and media posts are all supported, and the embeds are fully interactive, so visitors can +1, comment and follow you inline.”
Twitter Files for Initial Public Offering of Stock
- According to The Washington Post, the San Francisco company said Thursday that it plans to file an initial public offering of stock and that it submitted its prospectus to securities regulators in secret under a special federal law for “emerging growth companies.” Under the 2012 Jobs Act, that means Twitter must have revenue of $1 billion or less.
- The nature of the filing suggests that Twitter, a free service, is grappling with how to make money off of its outsized global influence and pop-culture prominence. Facebook has faced the same struggles with generating revenue as fast as it racked up users.
- Twitter’s stock offering is the most anticipated since Facebook’s rocky IPO in May 2012. Twitter, which describes itself as the global “town square,” has acquired 200 million active users since it launched in 2006. Twitter broke the news very publicly in a tweet, which immediately generated thousands of retweets and media outlets scurrying to report on the event.The IPO will provide the company fresh funds to invest in new lines of business and expand its reach globally. But as a public company, it will come under scrutiny from the public and investors looking for quarterly returns.