Instagram will begin inserting full-screen video ads within its 24-hour Stories as it looks to monetise ephemeral content on the visual platform. Instagram only launched Stories back in late summer, but more than 150 million people are now interacting with it each day, which represents a 50 per cent increase since October.
The new ads will either be in the form of a 15-second video or five-second photo, and users will be able to skip past them immediately if they wish to do so. Instagram said that the ads, which will be open to 500,000 advertisers on the social network, will be placed to ensure the best possible relevance.
To get the ad initiative underway, Instagram has brought in 30 big brands, including Nike, Netflix, McDonald’s, Airbnb and Buick, to test the feature during the next few weeks. It believes that these partners can create engaging content that appeals to users, as a third of the most-viewed stories on the platform have been published by enterprises, while 70 per cent of users follow at least one business.
“I think [marketers] are excited about the pairing of this format with the advertising capabilities that we’ve built over the last couple of years,” VP of Instagram Business James Quarles said. “They can target people that matter to them. They have the ability to reach as many as efficiently as possible. And they have access to a suite of measurement tools to see what worked.”
Marketers will have to buy the ads on a sold-by-auction basis, and the price will be determined by the number of impressions that their ads receive. Brands will also soon be able to access an enhanced suite of insights and filters for metrics such as reach, replies, exits and impressions for each story. Currently, like other users, businesses can only see a basic list of viewers and an overall view count.
The latest ad initiative is also designed to make the platform more appealing to advertisers compared to its rival Snapchat. Instagram Stories now receives 28 per cent more views for similar stories, according to research by TheAmplify.