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(Flickr / Jason Howie / "Instagram and other Social Media Apps" / CC BY 2.0 / cropped and resized")
(Flickr / Jason Howie / "Instagram and other Social Media Apps" / CC BY 2.0 / cropped and resized")

Instagram to pursue small business advertising in 2016

Along with selfies and pictures of people’s brunches, Instagram hopes to see more small businesses take advantage of the image sharing app for advertising, the Financial Times reported Monday.

Acquired by Facebook three years ago for $1 billion, Instagram plans to use its parent company’s vast resources to increase its reach among businesses.

“When we launched ads two years ago, ads were available in just eight countries. In September, we opened for business in around 200 countries… What you’ve mostly seen so far is bigger brands and bigger businesses using advertising to connect with consumers,” said Instagram CEO  Marne Levine  at the DLD technology conference in Munich, the Financial Times reported.

“I think what you’ll see in 2016 is small businesses starting to advertise more and take advantage of this platform.”

Instagram made some upgrades to its back-end software last year to make it easier for marketers to use the app with Facebook, said The Drum.

A 2015 study by eMarketer focused on U.S.-based companies found that just over 32 percent of firms use Instagram for marketing purposes. That number is expected to rise to 48.8 percent this year and more than 70 percent in 2017, the study said.