Facebook Stories ads are now available for marketers and advertisers, the company announced at an event in NYC on Tuesday. Facebook unveiled ads for Instagram Stories earlier this year.
Marketers and advertisers will now be able to integrate ads into their Facebook Stories, aligning with News Feed ads and Instagram Stories. Ad formats include 15-second video clips, or six-second still images, with the ability to layer on more dynamic content, like AR animation, stickers, polls and GIFs. Facebook will auto-format creatives to adhere to different user experiences, embracing both vertical parameters (the format of choice for Instagram Stories, Facebook Stories, and mobile) and landscape images typically found on the News Feed.
According to Maria Smith, director of product, Facebook is looking to extend capabilities on Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp in coming weeks. It’s also testing different curated Stories formats on the user side:
- Events Stories: Facebook Stories that are centered around a specific real-time event.
- Groups Stories: Stories built and curated from members of different Facebook groups
- Birthday Stories: Stories centered around curating birthday wishes — a long-time staple and user favorite for the Facebook platform
Research from Facebook shows brands have seen considerable lift from integrating Stories into a complete, cross-product social advertising experience. KFC UK, for example (see ad above) reported a 58 percent lower CPV and 19 percent lower CPM rate following a July 2018 Facebook Stories campaign.
Facebook Stories adoption has grown as well, eclipsing 300 million users on Facebook and Messenger daily. This is up from the 150 million users reported in May 2018.
What it means for marketers
For marketers, the expansion of Facebook’s advertising capabilities has several perks:
- Staying relevant: Consumer habits are changing, and brands need to keep up in order to capture audiences where it’s most relevant. Facebook research shows consumers are more receptive to Stories ads — 62 percent of consumers the company surveyed said they became more interested in a product after seeing it in their Story Feed. Consumers also said research about the product continued in both in-store and through word-of-mouth.
- More dynamic creatives: With Facebook stickers, GIFs and AR capabilities, marketers have new ways of connecting audiences with real-time engagement. AR allows for more immersive product demonstrations. Stories polls adds a gamification element, inviting users to interact with brands right in the feed.
- Easier content management: The ability to auto-format content for different aspect ratios is a big plus on the management side. This allows for more seamless content re-purposing across all of Facebook’s advertising products — taking away a potential headache for resizing and optimizing images at scale.
- More ‘Stories’ means better storytelling: Stories are short, in-the-moment experiences. For users, it’s a way to connect and share their thoughts, photos, and activities in real-time. With Stories, brands have the opportunity to become a part of these real-time moments and conversations. Stories segmented by events can also give brands the opportunity to actively curate UGC, and work with influencers on time-specific campaigns.
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Facebook’s foray into AR started with the release of their AR Studio in December 2017. The announcement came after the initial release of their Camera Effects platform last April.
Shopping on Instagram has been around since late 2016. Shoppers can tap to “see more” for items they discover through sponsored posts. Interested customers can also access a retailer’s site directly in the Instagram app, where they can view items, and start building a shopping cart.
In February 2018, Facebook announced their “Collections” capability, which provides a new way for brands to showcase multiple items at once within an ad. The functionality was piloted on Facebook, and is now rolling out to Instagram worldwide.