- Instagram Stories, which is used by 250 million people, is getting a significant upgrade to its advertising opportunities, Facebook revealed in a blog post yesterday. This includes porting the popular full-screen, fast-loading Canvas format over from Facebook.
- A new tool enables advertisers to repurpose organic Stories content as an ad by uploading it to Ads Manager. This means brands can now leverage camera features like face filters, boomerangs and drawing tools when creating content to be used as an ad.
- In a third update, Instagram Stories can now automatically be added to Facebook, Instagram and Audience Network campaigns so that advertisers can deliver a consistent message to a wider audience.
The news is noteworthy because it brings significant new advertising opportunities to Instagram Stories that will enable marketers to create ads from organic content that is resonating with users, better coordinate their efforts across platforms, reach a wider audience and make a big impact with full-screen ads.
Facebook is moving quickly to capitalize on the growth and popularity of Instagram Stories, its answer to Snapchat Stories that was introduced last year as a way to string together a series of videos and photos. With 250 million daily active users, Instagram Stories has quickly surpassed its competitor, which has 166 million daily active users. Ads on Instagram Stories were only launched in March, but with consumers flocking to the platform and brands looking for ways to reach consumers with relevant content, Facebook appears to be betting the platform can help it drive revenue as growth for its maturing main news feed starts to slow. The company claims that Instagram has 250 million daily active users, and more than 50% of businesses on the platform have created Instagram Stories in the past month.
So far, Instagram says its Stories format is producing results for brands. Yesterday's blog post revealed how Procter & Gamble’s SK-II beauty brand drove incremental results by adding Stories to a campaign designed to build awareness for its new Genoptics blush. In a split test, the skincare brand saw a lift of 13 points in awareness for Genoptics when adding Stories to the campaign and an increase in reach by 30% among the target audience of females in Japan ages 18-54, compared with ads on Instagram and Facebook alone.
Facebook also pointed to how a few initial brands are leveraging the new ad capabilities for Stories. Casper, a marketer of mattresses, used the Canvas format on Instagram Stories in a recent campaign to tell people about its products and warranty. The Bouqs Co., an online flower company, used the creative tools of the Instagram Stories camera such as face filters, boomerangs and drawing tools to create a post that was repurposed as an ad.
"Being able to leverage what we see working well organically on Instagram Stories to effectively and more efficiently reach customers is a powerful tool to drive impact with social," said Tricia Teschke, senior social and content manager at The Bouqs Co., in the blog post.