Instagram has launched an API that allows advertisers to manage their ad campaigns on the popular mobile photo sharing social network.
The new API will give advertisers the ability to programatically purchase ads, and manage and track their campaigns without lots of manual labor. They will also be able to access them through integrations with third party vendors. At launch, Instagram has partnered with a number of ad platform providers, including Ampush and Kenshoo, as well as agencies like MediaVest and Laundry Service.
APIs crucial to ad-based businesses
Under Facebook's umbrella, Instagram, which counts more than 300 million users, has been slowly building an advertising business that many believe will eventually be highly lucrative. But up until now, Instagram has been keen on experimentation and its ad offerings have been limited to major brands like Disney and Taco Bell.
Now that Instagram appears confident its ad offerings are ready for advertisers of all shapes and sizes, it could soon open its doors to a much greater number of advertisers. As AdWeek's Garett Sloane notes, there are two million businesses already advertising on Facebook, many of them directly and indirectly using the Facebook Ads API, and if Instagram's API can help those advertisers get campaigns started on Instagram much more quickly, the popular service could soon become one of the most important and popular ad platforms in social media.
Going from 0-to-60 in such a fashion would never have been possible before the advent of the API economy, and as Instagram's ads API announcement demonstrates the fact that ad-based businesses all but have to provide advertisers with robust APIs if they want to capture meaningful portions of advertiser ad spend today. With programmatic ad buying showing no signs of slowing, and third party ad management platforms entrenched in the marketplace, it's all but certain that the next billion dollar ad business will be powered by an API.