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Instagram hires new brand exec to ramp up ad efforts

It was all the way back in November of last year that Instagram first began running its first ads to a big, successful numbers. Frankly, there has seemed to be much movie since then. Now, though, the Facebook-owned company is finally about to step up its ad game in a big way.

James Quarles, who has been Regional Director Facebook EMEA (Europe, the Middle East and Africa) will be transitioning over to a new role: as Global Head of Business and Brand Development at Instagram, it has been confirmed by an Instagram spokesperson to VatorNews.

Quarles will be reporting directly to Instagram co-founder Kevin Systrom, and will manage both the company's marketing, and its sales, teams.

While the company spokesperson could not share with me what Quarles' official start date in his new job would be, they would say that "he’ll be relocating to the Menlo Park office in the fall."

Advertising, of course, is the chief way that Facebook makes its money. In its more recent quarter, advertising revenue was $2.68 billion, out of a total of $2.91 billion. Obviously, Facebook wants to apply the same model to Instagram. But the only way to do that is to expand the company's brand partners and monetization products.

Given Quarles' three and a half years of experience in the company's London office, where  he was in charge of managing brands and partnerships, he seems to be pretty qualified for the job. 

“I’ve gotten to know James over the last several months and I’m impressed by his leadership, his energy, and his experience," Systrom said in a statement to Vator.

"He has worked closely with the top brands in the world, he’s built a fantastic team globally, and most important, he understands the Instagram community, our values, and our goals for marketers on the platform. I can’t wait to have him join the team here in Menlo Park.”

“Instagram is an important and special place, a daily source of inspiration and expression. I’m excited to work with Kevin and the team to develop valuable ways for brands and businesses to engage with the community," Quarles told us. "An important part of this process will require us to be thoughtful about how brands contribute to the experience, while driving meaningful results for marketers around the world.”

Instagram's first ad, a picture of a gold watch, on a table, with some macarons next to it from designer Michael Kors, was a big success: it brought Kors a slew of new followers; 33,000 of them to be exact. That means that his number of followers jumped 16 times, from the 2,138 he was gaining on average.

The ads that the site runs look are meant to look like any other Instagram picture that you might see, except for big blue "sponsored" label in place of the time stamp. Clicking on the link will bring users to a page explaining how advertising works on Instagram.

This news was first reported by ReCode on Wednesday. 


(Article and body image via Vator News)

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