Instagram reportedly generated more than a quarter of Facebook’s revenue last year, as it brought in about $20 billion USD (about $26 billion CAD).
The social media giant hasn’t made this figure public, but people familiar with the matter reported it to Bloomberg. Facebook doesn’t disclose revenue for Instagram separately in its earnings reports, and instead brackets it under the “family of apps” section.
Interestingly, this reported number is higher than the revenue that YouTube brought in for Google, as it recorded $15.1 billion USD (about $20 billion CAD) in ad sales.
Facebook acquired Instagram in 2012 for $715 million USD (about $949 CAD). Instagram has become key to Facebook’s future, as users and advertisers are continuously joining the app even as Facebook’s own social media platform’s growth is slowing.
Instagram did not have a model to bring in revenue when Facebook bought it. But now, the app generates revenue the same way that Facebook does. For instance, it sells ads that appear as regular posts in the main feed and through Stories.
Facebook is also changing Instagram’s branding to say “Instagram from Facebook,” which is similar to what it recently did with WhatsApp.