Facebook-owned Instagram just announced some big changes that could lead to a bonanza of new ad bucks.
The photo-sharing app is opening up its ad network to advertisers of all sizes, and allowing them to show their ads to specific people using Facebook’s ad targeting tools.
Previously, only a small group of select advertisers could run ads, and they could only target people based on their gender, age, and country.
For advertisers, it means that buying Instagram ads tailored for specific users will become much easier.
For users, it means that ads will be much more relevant and, presumably, effective.
For Facebook and Instagram, it means that they will likely be able to charge more for those ads.
How much more money could this bring Facebook?
A recent analyst note from Bank of America Merrill Lynch estimates that Instagram could become a $300 million business next year and a colossal $3.8 billion business by 2020. Facebook makes about that much quarterly today.
Instagram also announced a bunch of additional capabilities, like video ads of up to 30 seconds, landscape photos and videos to “give ads a more cinematic feel,” and a product called “marquee” that Instagram says will drive mass awareness in a short-term frame, tailored to events like movie premiers or product launches.