Facebook Inc.’s Canvas ads are coming to its popular Snapchat Stories-like Instagram Stories feature, which let users and brands post photos and videos that disappear after 24 hours, the social network announced Tuesday.
Canvas ads are full-screen mobile ads that give retailers broad leeway to tell brand and product stories. For instance, mattress retailer Casper, No. 182 in the Internet Retailer 2017 Top 500, recently used the ads to educate consumers about its products’ benefits and warranty, as well as to share product testimonials.
Instagram introduced Instagram Stories in August 2016 and ads within the feature in March. Facebook says 250 million consumers interact with Instagram Stories every day, which, for the sake of comparison, is 77 million more than Snapchat’s daily active user base.
The move is one of several steps the social network announced that aim to drive retailers and other advertisers to bolster their ad spending across Facebook’s various ad offerings.
Instagram also rolled out an uploading tool that enables retailers to use the content they created for organic Instagram Stories as ads using Facebook’s Power Editor and Ads Manager ad management tools. That means a brand can use Instagram’s camera features such as face filters and drawing tools to create an organic Story, then repurpose that content as an ad. For instance, The Bouqs Co. recently used the uploading tool to repurpose an organic story it created with Instagram’s Stories camera into an ad that it optimized for website conversions.
“We’ve found promoting content through stories is an engaging way to build awareness and interest in new collections,” says Tricia Teschke, senior social and content manager, The Bouqs Co. “Our goal is to always engage customers authentically and share content with them that inspires and adds to their experience. Being able to leverage what we see working well organically on Instagram Stories to effectively and more efficiently reach customers is a powerful tool to drive impact with social.”
Facebook is also allowing retailers to run campaigns featuring their Instagram Stories ads across Facebook, Instagram and Audience Network, which is the Facebook’s ad network that places ads across the mobile web.
Facebook notes that ads that appear within Instagram Stories gain an “incremental lift.” It points to Procter & Gamble’s SK-II high-end skincare brand, which ran a split test to see how Instagram Stories ads performed in conjunction with its feed campaigns across Facebook and Instagram. The campaign generated 13 percentage point brand lift for its new product and 30% greater reach among its target audience of 18- to 54-year-old women compared with those who only saw the ads within their Instagram and Facebook feeds.
Those types of results illustrate why Facebook says it is rolling out the ability for Instagram Stories to be automatically added to Facebook, Instagram, and Audience Network campaigns through its placement optimization tools
“We are excited to bring more flexibility to the ways advertisers can buy Instagram Stories,” Instagram’s business team writes in a blog post. The feature will be fully available globally in the coming weeks.