Well, this should come as a surprise to exactly no one. Ever since Instagram launched its Stories ephemeral video platform last August, in an effort to stave off a user exodus to Snapchat, it was only a matter of time before there was a way for marketers to buy their way in. And while many brands have been posting in Stories since it launched, the company today announced it will start testing paid ads within Stories in the coming weeks, which will soon be available to advertisers globally.
The company also announced that Stories has grown to 150 million daily actives, with 50 million of those added over the last three months. Now the hope is brands will now embrace the paid access and audience measurement they've been utilizing in the regular Instagram feed, like reach, impressions, replies, and exits for each individual story within Instagram Business Tools.
"Businesses from the beginning have been a really important part of the Instagram community, and we're seeing that inside of Stories as well," says Instagram's director of market operations Jim Squires. "Seventy percent of people follow businesses inside of Instagram, and that number has continued to increase, and we've seen inside of Stories that businesses are further strengthening those relationships. One-third of the most viewed Stories are from businesses. So based on how both people and businesses have embraced Stories, we're introducing insights for businesses so they can see how people are interacting with their Stories content."
Among the more than 30 initial brands involved in the first testing of the new Stories, ads include Airbnb, Nike, General Motors, Netflix, Coke, Electronic Arts, Louis Vuitton, and Qantas.
"As we move through the testing period, we'll be sharing best practices and working with marketers to refine what is most compelling and interesting to people," says Squires.