This afternoon Instagram formally announced its move to bring ads to the network, in the form of high-quality photos and videos (Burberry's slow-mo ads were only the beginning!) from brands that are already on Instagram.
The rollout, according to Instagram, will be slow at first:
We have big ideas for the future, and part of making them happen is building Instagram into a sustainable business. In the next couple months, you may begin seeing an occasional ad in your Instagram feed if you're in the United States. Seeing photos and videos from brands you don't follow will be new, so we'll start slow. We'll focus on delivering a small number of beautiful, high-quality photos and videos from a handful of brands that are already great members of the Instagram community.
The blog post aims to soften the blow of the announcement by framing the move as the next step for "Instagram as a Growing Business." Yet the most clever bit of the announcement seems to be in the timing, as it comes possibly only minutes before Twitter releases its S-1 IPO filing to the hordes of ravenous tech, media, and finance journalists.
While the news dump is a tried-and-true tactic, it's still notable that the announcement — which will most likely ruffle the feathers of its ad-weary users, and attract ample media speculation and Facebook comparisons — precedes what could be the biggest tech information dump in well over a year.
Just for good measure, here's a very small sampling of the quick comment reactions from Instagram's blog post.
Update: It's working! Twitter publicly filed its S-1 just after 5 p.m. ET, and, as you might imagine, nobody is talking about Instagram's new ad push.