Since last writing about Instagram Stories ads in
2017, Instagram has evolved the offering from both a user and
advertising perspective. Since rolling out Stories in 2016,
Instagram has given users more ways to share and engage with the
content, while offering advertisers more appealing features and
capabilities, including support for full-screen ads.
With 500 million active users, one-third of the
most-viewed Stories coming from businesses, and one in five
Stories getting a direct message from viewers, it’s clear that
Instagram’s decision to adopt Stories was the right one. Here are
three more reasons why Instagram Stories and its Instagram Stories
ads will remain a safe bet for years to come.
The Dominance of Mobile Video
Mobile video is impossible to ignore. Full stop. According to
eMarketer, the number of US
smartphone video viewers will reach 187.7 million this year,
with an expectation that it’ll grow to more than 200 million by
2022 or nearly 65% of the Internet-using population in the US.
Couple that with the fact that average time spent watching mobile
video is expected to be close to 30 minutes per day by next year,
and the importance of linking video with mobile has never been
closer to the frontline. For Instagram users, their liking for
Stories seems like a logical conclusion.
For advertisers, the increased focus on the stories format is
logical as well, and advertisers are responding by allocating a
more substantial portion of their budgets to meet the market
demand. By 2022, mobile video ad spending in the US will swell to
$24.81 billion, representing a 55% increase in spending compared to
what’s expected to be spent in 2019.
As long as Instagram users are flocking to Stories, expect
advertisers to be there too.
Vertical Video Reigns Supreme
Remember when the market wasn’t convinced that vertical video
would be accepted by the masses? Sure, you could argue that the
initial trepidation around vertical video, which arguably made its
debut with the launch of Snapchat in 2011, was a result of the
market still adopting mobile devices (mainly smartphones) on a
large scale. While this can’t be linked directly, in 2011, the
share of Americans who owned a smartphone was just 35%, and the
most popular mobile app was Angry Birds. Today, that number is 75%.
So maybe that argument isn’t that far off.
Due to the widespread adoption of mobile coupled with an overall
acceptance of vertical video—thanks to a higher-quality
experience and more effective ad experiences, and we’ve found
ourselves living in an ecosystem that not only welcomes vertical
video but encourages it.
As the world moves away from feed-based updates and further
embraces the vertical format, Instagram Stories will remain an
effective way to reach consumers in a way that mirrors their
The Market Is Answering the Call
Since Snapchat introduced the short-form, ephemeral format when
it burst onto the scene in 2011, nearly every major social platform
has honed its sights and diverted its resources to offer a
like-minded offering. While the world outside of Snapchat was slow
to respond—although the tides began to turn two years after
Snapchat’s founding when Facebook tried to purchase the upstart
social platform for $3 billion—there’s been an inevitable
First, Instagram added Stories in 2016, which came approximately
four years after acquiring the company and five years after
Snapchat’s emergence. Following that, WhatsApp, another
Facebook-owned property, introduced WhatsApp Status. Then came
Messenger Day (now called Messenger Stories), and a year later,
Facebook rolled out a similar feature, which represented a blatant
move to turn the format into mainstream behavior thanks to
Facebook’s ability to reach billions of people across the globe
via Facebook’s mobile app.
As if that wasn’t enough,
Facebook even earmarked Stories as its biggest driver of growth
moving forward as overall adoption plateaued after saturating
nearly the entire developed, internet-connected world. Whatever way
you look at it, when the industry leaders come to the table, it’s
time to take notice.
In 2017, Instagram Stories was being lauded as a blatant
copy of Snapchat. It was, and to some degree, still is.
However, the reality is that today, the numbers speak for
themselves. With 500 million people using Instagram Stories, the
immersive and full-screen ad inventory available presents an
opportunity no advertiser should pass up. As the world
fundamentally changes the way it communicates, Instagram Stories
and Instagram Stories ads have all the staying power to remain a
key stakeholder in any advertisers’ long-term strategy.
Learn More about How Instagram Advertising Has Matured
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3 Reasons Why Instagram Stories Ads Have Plenty of Staying Power