Instagram to start showing advertisements

NEW YORK — Instagram, the mobile photo-sharing app owned by Facebook Inc., says it will start showing “occasional” photo and video advertisements in the coming months.

It’s Instagram’s first step toward making money. While users can already follow brands and businesses, part of the app’s appeal has been its simplicity and, for some, a lack of advertisements.

To ease users into seeing ads, the company said in a blog post Thursday that it will focus on showing “a small number” of “high-quality photos and videos” from a handful of brands.

Facebook bought Instagram last fall for $715.3 million, $300 million of it in cash and the rest in stock. The app has more than 150 million users and is especially popular with teenagers and young adults.

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