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Instagram

Everything is prettier on photo-sharing social network Instagram--including advertisements for jeans, cars, and anything else you might want to purchase. Fully 90% of the world's top 100 brands-- as measured by consultancy Interbrand--have Instagram accounts, and more than 700 brands have run ad campaigns targeted at the app's 300 million (mostly) young users who visit the app religiously on their phones. And some of the ads are quite novel: Gap ran a 12-part microseries of 15-second videos, hoping viewers would stop scrolling and follow a couple as they fell in love wearing Gap clothing. Heineken used the app to give away U.S. Open tickets, and fashion designer Misha Nonoo used it to mount the first ever "Insta-Show" during New York Fashion Week. Instagram says that 98% of the campaigns have resulted in a boost in ad recall for users who saw them.

The app has also introduced "Shop Now", "Install Now", "Sign Up", and "Learn More" buttons to make those sponsored posts more actionable.

It looks like Instagram might be more than just a pretty face after all.