Popular photo-sharing service Instagram has begun selling ads in Russia as part of an expansion of its advertising business outside the U.S., the RIA Novosti news agency reported Wednesday, citing a company statement.
Instagram will sell advertising in Russia in partnership with Aitarget, which also works with Facebook, Instagram's owner.
"Using the new service, advertisers will be able to attract the attention of the young, fast-growing Instagram audience in Russia," RIA Novosti quoted the statement as saying.
Russia is Instagram's 5th-largest user group, with 16 million subscribers, RIA Novosti reported. According to the company's statement, the number of users in the country is growing by more than 25 percent every year.
A competitor appeared in July, however, when Russia's leading social network, VKontakte, launched a new photo-sharing mobile application called Snapster.
Advertisers with Instagram can place promoted posts that will appear in users' news feeds. According to the Interfax news agency, Samsung, L'Oreal, Unilever, Nestle, Yandex.Taxi, VimpelCom and Lamoda have already signed up to advertise.
Instagram has some 400 million users globally, and advertising is available in more than 30 countries, according to the company.