Instagram could make millions every year if users were able to print photos directly from the app, according to the co-founder of a canvas printing firm.
Speaking in a recent blog post, Adrian Salamunovic of CanvasPop estimated that if Instagram were to introduce a convenient printing service, it would be able to generate £450 million or more annually.
Salamunovic’s calculation follows closely in the wake of the Facebook-owned photo network announcing plans to start monetising on its services.
In the announcement, Instagram said that just a small number of brands would start producing ads, emphasising that the advertising content appearing on users’ newsfeeds would still be “enjoyable and creative”.
The firm’s CEO, Kevin Systrom, has avoided letting business strategies get in the way of user experience. In its formative years, the company reportedly gave precedence to designing a quality app over generating revenue in the short-term.
In the blog post, Salamunovic said that Instagram could still make a considerable profit if printing services were outsourced to another company. If users had access to a print button in the app, Salamunovic believes that even a conversion rate as low as 1%, $60 million (£37 million) could be generated every month – an estimation he calls “conservative”.
It was confirmed that while Salamunovic had contacted Systrom and spoken to the company’s operations director, Instagram has no immediate plans to offer users a printing feature.
Other firms are already cashing in on the colossal library of digital images on Instagram, giving its users the opportunity to have their photos printed on anything from mugs and T-shirts to coasters and canvas prints.