In two years’ time, eMarketer projects that Instagram will take in $2.81 billion from mobile advertising revenues, more than four times the $595 million the photo and video sharing platform is expected to generate this year. The prediction came in eMarketer’s inaugural study detailing how much advertisers will spend on Instagram, whose sole source of revenue is currently mobile ad products.
The growth is largely attributed to the Facebook-owned platform’s plans to introduce new ad products and open up its advertising network, which has been limited to a handful of select marketers since Michael Kors debuted the first Instagram ad in November 2013. What was once just offered as display ads within a user’s feed will now include several of Facebook’s targeting tools.
This year, Instagram’s ad revenues will make up just 5 percent of Facebook’s overall ad sales, but eMarketer expects this to nearly triple by 2017 to 14 percent. The photo-sharing network is also expected to make up more than 10 percent of Facebook’s global ad revenues by this time, likely to exceed $28 billion.
As of this month, Instagram is only open to seven markets outside the U.S., including Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Japan and the U.K. These seven regions will command about $30 million in revenues, or 5 percent of Instagram’s projected $595 million for the year.
That represents a massive opportunity for brands, as eMarketer expects over one-third of the U.S. population to use Instagram on a regular basis.
Last September, Instagram cofounder Kevin Systrom told WWD that fashion and retail brands comprised about a third of the network’s advertising revenue, including early marketers such as Ralph Lauren, Victoria’s Secret, Banana Republic, Hollister and Abercrombie & Fitch. Three of the initial 10 advertisers on Instagram were fashion or retail related: Michael Kors, Burberry and Macy’s.