One-third of the most-viewed stories within the Snapchat Stories-like feature were posted by businesses.

Retailers will soon have more ways to target consumers with ads on Facebook Inc.-owned Instagram.

Instagram is taking a page from Snapchat by rolling out immersive, full-screen ads within its popular Snapchat Stories-like Instagram Stories feature, which it rolled out in August. Snapchat offers similar ads.

Instagram says Instagram Stories, which let users and brands post photos and videos that disappear after 24 hours, has 150 million daily users. That’s half the 300 million daily users who visit the social network each day. Retailers such as J.Crew Group Inc., No. 49 in the Internet Retailer 2016 Top 500 Guide, have used the format to highlight new products and collections. In fact, roughly one-third of the most-viewed stories within the feature were posted by businesses, Instagram says.

The ads, which will appear between some Stories, at first are only available to about 30 companies—including Nike Inc. (No. 47), and Yoox Net-a-Porter Group SpA (No. 78). However, Instagram says it plans to expand the ads to more advertisers in coming weeks. For now, retailers can’t use the ads to garner a direct response, such as a click to a website or app, but those capabilities are coming in the next few months, Instagram says.

Instagram also plans to include analytics information on stories, regardless of whether they’re ads or organic posts. Among the metrics businesses with an Instagram business profile will be able to see are how many impressions a story receives and how many consumers replied.


“By viewing these insights, you can learn how to create more relevant content that resonates with your audience,” Instagram writes in a blog post.

In rolling out more ad formats, Instagram is seeking to build on its already large advertising business that is expected to generate $3.64 billion worldwide this year, a 96% jump from last year, according to eMarketer Inc. estimates. For the sake of comparison, Snapchat is expected to generate $935.5 million in worldwide ad revenue this year, eMarketer predicts.

As Instagram’s revenue rises, it comprises a larger share of Facebook’s ad business. Instagram’s worldwide ad revenue will represent 12.3% of Facebook’s global ad business this year, up from 8.4% in 2016, eMarketer forecasts.