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Instagram to start showing advertisements

NEW YORK — Instagram, the mobile photo-sharing app owned by Facebook Inc., said it will start showing occasional photo and video advertisements in the coming months.

It’s Instagram’s first step toward making money. While users can already follow brands and businesses, part of the app’s appeal has been its simplicity and, for some, a lack of ads.

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To ease users into seeing advertisements, the company said in a blog post on Thursday that it will focus on showing ‘‘a small number’’ of ‘‘high-quality photos and videos’’ from a handful of brands.

The app has more than 150 million users and is especially popular with teenagers and young adults.

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