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article imageInstagram Stories becomes Facebook's next step in ads

By James Walker     Sep 12, 2017 in Technology
Facebook has detailed changes coming to Instagram ads that will make it easier for businesses to share content in Stories. The company is looking to monetise Stories to help advertisers reach new people. It's also rolling out more options to users.
Business Insider reports Facebook is extending its multi-format Canvas ad tool to include Instagram Stories. This will allow brands to create and publish a single campaign that spans mediums including Facebook, regular Instagram posts and Instagram Stories. Facebook's betting big on the potential to monetise Stories, built around ephemeral in-the-moment sharing, after observing massive growth in the feature since it launched last year.
Stories now boasts more than 250 million daily active users, a higher number than Snapchat's entire audience. Instagram's also revealed that over 50 percent of its business users regularly create Stories, even though there's previously been no direct way to monetise them. Sponsored Stories are currently bought like any other ad and can't be created within the app, leaving them reserved for regular professional-quality commercials.
This changes today with the expansion of Instagram's ad tools. Brands can take advantage of the full Instagram camera experience, letting them create more personal stories that look like the ones you share yourself. Advertisers will be able to utilise all the regular Stories features, including augmented reality masks, camera effects and face filters. Facebook reckons this will increase user engagement because the ads will look more like regular content on its platform.
You can now share Instagram Stories on Direct
You can now share Instagram Stories on Direct
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Brands already using Stories can now choose to monetise them and promote them as ads. Users will be shown sponsored story posts that appear interspersed in the carousel of moments shown in the app. Swiping up on the story will navigate to the company's profile or an external link. These ads will still be clearly labelled as "Sponsored" material but at first glance they could be mistaken for a regular story post.
Facebook's also announced a new user-facing Stories feature designed to increase sharing of ephemeral content. You can now send public story posts to your friends using Instagram Direct. Rather than screenshotting the post and sending it later, you can choose to forward a story to one of your followers. You can disable this for your own profile if you don't want followers to share your content without permission.
"Starting today, you can share stories with your friends in Direct. From stories you follow on surfing to stories about your best friend’s cat, now you have more ways to share the stories you love," said Instagram. "Sharing a story in Direct is as easy as sharing a post from your feed. When you discover a story you want to share, tap the direct icon in the bottom right corner, select a friend or group to share it with and tap send."
The new features for users and brands are available from today in Instagram for iOS and Android. As Stories continues to grow, Facebook's likely to continue pushing new creative options that open additional opportunities for brands. Instagram Stories now offers marketers another way of pushing their message to a developing audience. The platform's particularly popular with smaller businesses that find it more accessible than the main Facebook and Instagram ad portals.
More about instagram, instagram stories, Facebook, Ads, Social media
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