Personal Finance

October 4, 2013

Instagram to sell ads for first time

Ford issues recall over door chime; dollar falls over budget dispute
Instagram ads

Facebook, will sell advertising on its Instagram photo service, the first effort to make money from the company’s largest acquisition on record.

Promotions will start to appear nationwide on the mobile application, which lets users share images from smartphones, the operator of the world’s most popular social network said Thursday in a blog. Instagram will deliver a “small number” of pictures and videos from a handful of companies that users aren’t necessarily following.

Facebook is seeking new ways to drive revenue from mobile devices as users increasingly access digital services from wireless devices. While mobile made up 41 percent of ad revenue in the second quarter, up from 30 percent in the previous period, Facebook remains a distant No. 2 in a market led by Google Inc., according to researcher EMarketer Inc.

“Our aim is to make any advertisements you see feel as natural to Instagram as the photos and videos many of you already enjoy from your favorite brands,” Instagram said on the blog. “After all, our team doesn’t just build Instagram, we use it each and every day. We want these ads to be enjoyable and creative in much the same way you see engaging, high-quality ads when you flip through your favorite magazine.”

Users can hide promotions they don’t like and give feedback about what doesn’t “feel right” about the ads, the app developer said. Instagram, which Facebook bought for more than $700 million last year, has more than 150 million users, up from more than 130 million in June.

Recall over door chime

Ford is recalling about 24,000 cars because a chime won’t sound if the driver’s door is opened while the key is inside the car.

The recall in the U.S. and Canada affects Ford Focus electric cars from 2012 and 2013, and the C-Max hybrid from the 2013 model year. The cars have push-button starting mechanisms.

Ford says the cars don’t comply with U.S. regulations requiring the chime. No crashes or injuries have been reported because of the problem.

Ford dealers will modify software starting next week in order to make the chimes sound properly.

Dollar doldrums

The dollar traded at almost a one- month low against the yen as a partial shutdown of the U.S. government delayed a jobs report, clouding the outlook for when the Federal Reserve may reduce stimulus.

The Bloomberg U.S. Dollar Index reached the lowest level in two weeks as Atlanta Fed President Dennis Lockhart said the shortage of economic news “would tend to make me somewhat more cautious” about reducing the pace of bond purchases. Lawmakers also need to agree on raising the debt limit. The pound fell against all its 16 major counterparts on speculation recent gains were excessive. Australia’s dollar rose on bets the central bank will refrain from cutting interest rates.

Dollar weakness “obviously was trigged by the government shutdown, but the big issue markets are concerned about right now is really discussions around the debt ceiling,” Sireen Harajli, a strategist at Mizuho Bank in New York, said in a telephone interview. “The markets are being a little bit more cautious ahead of the weekend.”

The dollar fell 0.1 percent to 97.17 yen at 10:47 a.m. New York time, extending this week’s decline to 1.1 percent. It touched 96.96, about the lowest since Aug. 28. The U.S. currency rose 0.2 percent to $1.3596 per euro, having dropped 0.5 percent since Sept. 27. The yen strengthened 0.3 percent to 132.11 per euro.

Star news services

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