Instagram Launches Ads Within Stories


March 2017

Earlier this year Instagram announced that they would soon be running full-screen adverts within the popular Instagram feature “stories”.

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The Facebook owned company revealed you would be able to use targeting to ensure the story ads reached the right people, as well as controlling how frequently people saw the ads, therefore, ensuring the ads aren’t random and potentially harmful to the numbers using the app. Unlike Facebook ads, the Instagram story ads will play with audio automatically, a feature that should ensure engagement and response.

They first tested the feature with 30 influential businesses such as Netflix, Nike, and Airbnb, which showed positive results. Airbnb used the feature to create 15 second videos based on their newest product launch – experiences on Airbnb, they later reported they saw double-digit point increase in ad recall. On the first of this month, roughly two months after their previous announcement we were told that the roll out to all businesses had begun.


How can we use Instagram Story Ads for universities?


Instagram currently has over 500 million active users globally, since the initial launch of stories back in 2016 the love for stories has grown and now 150 million users use stories daily with a third of the most viewed stories coming from businesses. 39% of Instagram users in the UK are aged 16-24 making it an ideal place to target students and young people. Instagram stated that story ads will be available to all businesses regardless of the size meaning universities and colleges of any size will be able to use this new feature to advertise. There is the chance with regular Instagram ads that they won’t be seen or noticed. To view Instagram stories you click on the first one and then they play from everyone you follow continuously with of course the option to skip to the next one with a tap. Placing ads between these stories means that if someone is flicking through or watching stories they will see the ad, making it full screen and adding audio will also help to grab attention and reduce the rate of people immediately tapping to skip.


We’re looking forward to seeing this new feature and how well it works.

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