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Instagram widens availability of advertising

Facebook-owned pic-share service adds 20 countries, intends 200 by end of September

Instagram widens availability of advertising

Pic-sharing service Instagram has broadened the range of territories in which its platform will be open to advertisers, Reuters reported.

The company's ads services are currently available in only eight countries: US, Canada, UK, Japan, Australia, Germany, France and Brazil. But to compete with emerging rivals such as Snapchat, Facebook-owned Instagram plans to make advertising available in more than 200 countries by the end of the month, starting today with 20 territories, including India, Spain and Italy.

Instagram claims 300m monthly active users and can draw on Facebook's sizeable stores of user data to target consumers, which will likely make it a more attractive prospect to advertisers than start-up rivals.

Facebook bought Instagram for $1bn in 2012. Instagram's strengths in the online ads arena will emanate largely from its parent entity, which is the market leader in mobile advertising, with more than 75% of its $3.8bn ad revenue coming from mobile.

"It would have taken us years to build some of this technology without Facebook," said James Quarles, global head of business and brand development, Instagram, in an interview last week. "We can take advantage of years of experience."

Instagram's own takings from advertising are expected to reach $1.5bn in 2016 and almost double by 2017 to $2.8bn, according to eMarketer.

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