This afternoon Facebook confirmed something we knew, deep down, was bound to happen: Ads are coming to Instagram. It's not clear exactly when or how, but Facebook's Carolyn Everson confirmed, in an interview at Business Insider's Ignition 2012 conference, that the company will "monetize" (i.e. sell advertising) on the very-popular photo sharing app. Why else did you think Facebook spent all that money buying the app in the first place without killing the product immediately? It bought the competition so it could sell the product.
Everson didn't give too many details about how the company will do this, exactly — she just emphasized how many brands (and potential advertisers) are already building a presence on Instagram. Maybe it will take advantage of those new web profile pages that look an awful lot like Facebook brand pages. Or maybe it will slide sponsored stories right off Facebook and into the photo-stream. Yes, that would totally stink, but Facebook has made clear that the difficulty it's had with mobile advertising is a high priority. And Instagram has already proven, with its power play against Twitter this past week, that it has no problem compromising user experience for business purposes.