By now, you’ve probably heard about Instagram, the social media giant that allows you to post photos and videos without having to create a website or upload a photo to Instagram.
Instagram, which started in 2007 as an app for posting photos and then a platform for people to post videos, is now worth $40 billion, according to analytics firm Statista.
But the brand-name product has struggled to capture much attention outside the U.S., particularly with young people.
According to Statista, Instagram’s ad revenue grew 6.4 percent to $11.7 billion in the first quarter, according the company’s latest quarter report.
Its growth is more than offset by a drop in the share of its audience that is between 18 and 29 years old, as well as in the number of Instagram users in those ages.
“We believe Instagram is on track to become the largest paid digital advertising network, and this could be the most important moment for Instagram,” said David Hsieh, an analyst at Wedbush Securities.
It’s a trend that will have ramifications for both the company and the companies that make products and services for it.
Facebook’s mobile ad platform, Messenger, is already seeing big growth among young people, said David A. Schleifer, a research analyst at Kantar Media, in a recent note to investors.
Facebook’s revenue from its mobile ad business is expected to grow 30 percent this year to $5.4 billion, the company said in its latest earnings report.
Facebook is also a key partner in ad buying by ad networks, including the ad networks that operate on Instagram, Snapchat, and Instagram Live.
A Facebook spokesperson said the company does not comment on speculation about its revenue forecasts.
However, Facebook has struggled with the growth of its Instagram and Snapchat brands.
The company has been trying to reduce friction for users on its mobile app by making it easier to set up a new account and posting photos, videos, and more.
While that has led to a rise in engagement for Instagram users, Snapchat users have largely abandoned the platform.
The social network also has struggled in terms of attracting younger users.
In the first three months of 2017, Instagram users were younger than Facebook users in every demographic, according an analysis by comScore.
Analysts at comScore have also been saying that Instagram’s growing reach is causing the social network to lose more users as it tries to grow its user base.
In its latest quarter, Instagram saw a net loss of $6.3 million, down from a loss of a net profit of $15.9 million a year ago.
For its part, Instagram has tried to get its brand and image more relevant to younger users by promoting its brands in media outlets, including media that promote Instagram, and by expanding its video content, including ads.
And, with Instagram Live, the app has added a feature that lets users upload videos from the platform to their Facebook and YouTube accounts.
This has made it easier for younger people to watch videos on Instagram as well.
But the growth in Instagram’s audience is slowing.
Ads are being added to Instagram by ad-supported networks such as adMob, adStamp, and AdRoll, but those networks are seeing lower engagement than they did in the past, according a Statista report from January.
The biggest growth in engagement on Instagram has come from brands that have partnered with Facebook, the spokesperson said.
“This includes Facebook’s video ad partner, Live Nation, which has seen its ad revenue grow by more than a third since it started working with Facebook,” the spokesperson wrote in an email.
That growth has come despite Instagram seeing a drop-off in video views over the past year, according Instagram.
And, according on a Statster study, Instagram Live is seeing less engagement than before.
Some analysts think the slowdown in engagement could be temporary.
“Advertisers may want to wait until they see sustained growth in the growth-strategy space,” said Jason Hsiehs, an ad strategist at ComScore.
“The longer Instagram is sitting in the market, the harder it will be to get advertisers to invest in it.”