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Instagram has announced that more than 500,000 businesses are now using the photo and video-sharing social network to advertise with the help of its self-service Instagram for Business platform. The Facebook-owned app launched ads last September and said that it had attracted 200,000 active marketers by March.

The ads platform helps businesses both large and small run targeted campaigns to potential customers across Instagram. According to data released by the company, half of users now follow a business of some kind, and 75 percent of all Instagrammers have taken action (visiting a site, shopping, telling a friend) after being “inspired” by a post they’ve seen.

Instagram estimates that there have been 1 billion actions taken on Insta ads since launch, and that performance of the ads saw a 45 percent jump in June after the company tweaked the format of link ads.

More than 1.5 million business have converted to a business profile since the launch, and Instagram said that its mobile ads have resulted in a 2 percent increase in brick-and-mortar sales.

The top five countries pushing the advertiser total to the 500,000 mark are the United States, Brazil, United Kingdom, Australia and Canada. The leading categories are consumer-packaged goods, e-commerce, entertainment and technology.