Brace yourselves, it looks like advertisements are coming to Instagram. Since its release in late 2010, the popular photo sharing service has managed to remain ad-free. But once Facebook took over the reigns earlier this year in its legendary $1 billion buyout, speculation has been rampant that this would change, and Facebook just confirmed it…

BusinessInsider has confirmed with Facebook’s VP of global marketing solutions Carolyn Everson that “monetization” will be coming to Instagram. The publication spoke with Everson during the recent Ignition 2012 conference, where she said that an ad-team is looking at turning Instagram into a money-maker. But just how long until this happens?

“CE: Well, Instagram continues to grow incredibly fast and we’re still a very small team when you think about the amount of people they are reaching. There are many brands that use Instagram right now to try to get a feel for how to engage with their followers. We will definitely be figuring out a monetization strategy. When that will happen, I can’t comment, but it’s going to happen.”

The news comes at an interesting time, as something of a photo sharing war has broken out between Instagram and Twitter. Last week, Instagram pulled almost all support for the micro-blogging social network, and Twitter fired back by rolling out new Instagram-like photo filters. It’ll be interesting to see how ads affect Instagram’s stronghold in the space.

I understand that after spending nearly a billion dollars on Instagram, Facebook needs to make the photo sharing network profitable. But I’m not at all excited about having advertisements implanted in my photo feed. In fact, if they’re as annoying and threatening to user privacy as Facebook ads, I may consider switching services. I hear Flickr has a new app.

What do you think about Instagram getting ads?