Ads Are Coming to Facebook Stories As the Format Hits 150 Million DAUs



The news comes on the same day that Instagram announced a new update making it easier to share feed posts to Stories.

At its recent F8 conference, Chris Cox, Chief Product Officer, presented a chart that illustrated the pace at which Stories are accelerating in popularity. In fact, they’re growing at 15x the pace of news feed posts.

The company is now reporting that Facebook Stories are viewed by 150 million users every day.

As a brief history lesson, Stories was brought to the main Facebook app last March, a format the social media giant openly admitted was “pioneered by Snapchat.” With the feature, users are able to string a series of videos and photos together that disappear after 24 hours. For fun, a variety of filters, or as Snapchat refers to them in the context of own Stories, lenses, can be applied.

Today, virtually all of the company’s mobile apps have rolled out with their own adaptations of Stories including Instagram, WhatsApp, and Messenger, each of which are performing strongly. Per the chart below, to date WhatsApp comes second place to Facebook Stories attracting 450 million daily active users (DAUs) followed by Instagram Stories with 300 million DAUs and Messenger Stories at 70 million DAUs.

Image via TechCrunch

With this growth, the next logical step for Facebook Stories is clear: monetization.

“More and more people are using Facebook Stories to connect with friends and businesses, and we’re going to start testing ads in Stories to help people discover products and services they might be interested in,” revealed Facebook product manager Zoheb Hajiyani in a statement to Adweek.

Here’s how it will work: advertisers will be able to buy five to 15 second-long video ads, which can either be extensions of existing Instagram Stories ads, or they can opt to have Facebook automatically reformat News Feed ads using “color-matched borders and text.” Per CNET, users will have the option to skip these and businesses can expect to see metrics detailing the performance of their ads.

The company doesn’t seem too concerned that it will be difficult for companies to see their dollars be put to good use, Hajiyani claiming, “Ads in stories have added a lot of value for businesses on Instagram, and we believe we can do the same on Facebook.”

To kick off the venture, ads will be tested amongst businesses in the U.S., Brazil, and Mexico markets with additional countries and advertisers to be included in the coming months provided all goes well.

On the user side of Stories, Instagram announced it’s rolling out a new feature to help remove the friction of posting a news feed post to your Story.

“When you come across something in feed that inspires you—like a post from a friend raising money for a cause or a photo of a new design from your favorite brand—you can now quickly share that post as a sticker to your story for your friends and followers to see,” the official blog post announcement explained. In short, it’s not the ability to regram. Instead, it’s yet another way, in addition to DMs and tagging someone, to react and share content from your friends, favorite influencers, and brands.

Check it out in action below:

Image via Instagram

Indeed it seems “time well spent” is becoming the social media slogan of the year as more and more efforts by the part of platforms are geared toward intentional, active engagement as opposed to mind-numbing, passive scrolling. To further explore this theme, join us at one of our flagship conferences where our global theme “Closer” will explore the balance between community and individualism.

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