Get ready for more Instagram ads — Stories is gaining expanded advertising that allows businesses to use up to three ad pieces together rather than one. On Thursday, February 1, Instagram announced that carousel ads are moving to Stories, starting with a limited number of businesses.
Instagram Stories ads previously only allowed businesses to slip in one image as the photos and videos from friends play on that short loop. With carousel ads, businesses can now add up to three images or videos inside Stories. The change, Instagram says, allows businesses to add more depth, like Gap’s new add that shows two video clips before a third image that invites viewers to shop with a simple swipe up.
Like original content inside of Stories, users can still tap through ads along with swiping back and forth, so for Instagram users that find the Stories ads annoying, there is just more to tap through before seeing the rest of the Stories. Businesses can also add some of the same effects to their campaign that users have access to, including stickers and drawing tools.
The expanded advertising option is starting with a limited group of advertisers before a more widespread rollout. The first businesses to use the new format, along with Gap, include Coca-Cola, Renault, and Paramount.
During the 2017 year-end earnings report earlier this week, Sheryl Sandberg, the chief operating officer of Instagram’s parent company Facebook, said that Stories ads are working well with Instagram Stories. She said that most viewers see the ads with sound on, while the swipe-up feature allows users to quickly find out more information.
The growth of Stories means that the company is focused on bringing new features to the sharing medium, including those expanded monetization options. “We expect Stories are on track to overtake posts in feeds as the most common way that people share across all social apps,” Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said earlier this week. “That’s because Stories is a better format for sharing multiple quick video clips throughout your day. The growth of Stories will have an impact on how we build products and think about our business, including WhatsApp and Instagram, which are the number one and number two most-used Stories products in the world.”