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How Kevin Systrom Controls Every Ad on Instagram

Insta7-22ASPEN — Photo-sharing network Instagram still hasn't fully rolled out its strategy for selling ads on the service. But CEO and cofounder Kevin Systrom has revealed that he has an unusual and unprecedented amount of control over photo ads before they go up on the service.

"I'm looking at every ad," Systrom told the Fortune Brainstorm Tech conference at the Aspen Institute on Tuesday. "We implemented that early on." He added that he had the power to reject or suggest changes to the content.

Instagram tentatively rolled out its first 10 ad campaigns late last year. Systrom is currently limiting the service to "companies that set the bar high," he said — companies such as Airbnb, Burberry, Ben and Jerry's and Lexus.

The CEO, who orchestrated the sale of his company to Facebook for roughly $1 billion two years ago, was quick to point out that there are "very few times" he suggests changes to the ads. "And when I do, they thank me," he said.

One minor example provided to Fortune of an ad Systrom sent back: an Airbnb campaign featuring locations for rent on the service that was submitted without location information in the caption.

Systrom insisted that this was a temporary situation. "I don't expect to check every ad in the future," he said. But with ads rolling out at an incredibly slow speed on the service, he had no time frame for when he expects to stop playing ad cop.

Also not on a timeline yet: the ability to buy products by clicking on a photo ad. Systrom did admit that the concept was on his mind, however.

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(Article and body image via Mashable)

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