Instagram adds Promoted Stories to its Advertising Lineup

Jan 24, 2017 Sarah Mitus

Last week, Instagram announced that ads are coming soon to Instagram Stories, just five months after the feature’s initial release. This was mostly received with heart eyes from businesses, and rolling eyes from users, but overall not a big surprise to anyone. 150 million people use Instagram Stories each day - on par with Snapchat’s latest statistic - and Facebook easily built on their existing Ads Manager to get this advertising product up fast.

While Instagram is just starting to advertise in Stories, Snapchat’s been doing it since October 2014. Snapchat now has an array of advertising options - promoted filters, stories, lenses, etc., - that provide impressions to advertisers and revenue to Snap Inc. While Instagram Stories and Snapchat do provide similar experiences, Instagram Stories has two substantial benefits when it comes to running ads:

Instagram Story ads will be sold at auction

  • The ads for Instagram Stories will be sold at auction, so pricing is set based on demand. Snapchat, on the other hand, requires high minimums and flat rates, effectively blocking out smaller brands from participating.

Instagram Story ads can be done within the Facebook ads platform

  • No need to learn a new system - Instagram Story ads will soon be integrated into the Facebook ads platform you’ve come to  know and love. Not only will this allow for specific interest and location targeting, but also access to data and insights on par with the other Facebook social campaigns, well above what Snapchat has typically provided in the past.

While the reasons above may have persuaded you to get started, Instagram Story ads aren’t open to everyone just yet. Instagram is testing this feature with about thirty clients, including General Motors, Nike, Netflix, and Airbnb.

Despite Instagram Stories having a lot of positives, Snapchat, with its advertising revenue, isn’t going anywhere. With 150 million daily active users and a far more expansive ad product that includes Stories, geofilters and lenses, they’ve made a stake in the ground - and that’s going to take much more than twenty-four hours to disappear.

Topics: Instagram, Paid Media, Social Media
Sarah Mitus

While Sarah has extensive experience with social media strategy, community management, and sponsored content, she understands that second-guessing what worked in the past is the only way to be successful in the future. Prior to joining InkHouse, Sarah worked at Edelman San Francisco as the main community manager and digital content strategist for Adobe’s Digital Imaging brands: Photoshop and Lightroom. She has won numerous awards including Facebook’s Craft award, a PR News social media icon, and two Cannes Lions. She majored in Marketing and Management at the Villanova School of Business and remains an active member of the alumni community.

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