Instagram Stories launched in August of 2016, and since then it has become a popular feature reaching over 150 million Instagram users every day.
Stories are a collection of pictures and videos that users can put together into a slideshow.
Because they disappear 24 hours after posting, Stories tend to be more casual than the typical Instagram post.
Building on the popularity of Stories, Instagram has recently added a number of tools for businesses who want to use them to connect with customers.
Organizations who use an Instagram business profile will now be able to see analytics, or “Insights” about Stories within their Business Tools.
These analytics will show the reach, impressions, replies, and exits of each story, enabling more informed content planning.
Instagram is also testing full-screen ads for stories. Businesses will be able to design photos (which will show for 5 seconds) and 15-second video ads.
These ads can be targeted using reach and measurement analytics, and they will show up between the stories of targeted users’ friends. Like stories, these ads will be skippable.
TechCrunch reports that ads on Stories will be priced per 1000 impressions and sold through auction.
A sample of an Instagram Stories ad from Airbnb
Currently, Instagram is testing the new ads with a group of about 30 large businesses, so users may begin seeing ads while viewing stories. Instagram hasn’t set a global roll-out date, but they say the new ad options will be available to all businesses soon.
About 70% of Instagram users already follow at least one business, so the new ads should, at least in theory, fit into the existing stories fairly seamlessly.
Businesses who are thinking of trying this new kind of ad should think about designing ads that feel like the casual, engaging Stories that users are already seeing.