Almost every social media platform has some variation of the “stories” feature now. Facebook Stories are full screen photo and video content posted separately from a user’s News Feed. They vanish after 24 hours and are formatted by scrolling left to right, instead of the traditional downward scroll that is associated with feeds. Facebook has now introduced Facebook Stories ads to allow advertisers to tap into this valuable inventory. 

This article breaks down this new ad format and what it could mean for advertisers.

What are Facebook Stories ads?

Facebook Stories ads are exactly like Instagram Stories ads, but for Facebook. Stories appear at the top of users’ News Feeds on mobile devices.

Stories ads consist of full screen video, image, or carousel ads sandwiched between organic content from a user’s friends and family. Videos last for 15-seconds, images last 5-seconds, and carousel ads last for 45-seconds (aggregate).

Once a user sees the ad, they can swipe up to reach the advertiser’s landing page. Facebook Stories ads support all campaign objectives currently available for Instagram Stories, including: reach, brand awareness, video views, app install, conversion, traffic and lead generation.

Facebook Stories ads utilize Facebook’s full suite of targeting, remarketing and measurement capabilities that you find with other placements.

Why Facebook Stories ads are important?

Well, perhaps the most obvious reason: Stories ads on Facebook offers a new ad placement option for advertisers on the platform. Facebook Stories also has 300 million daily users, so this is a significant audience with a large global reach that advertisers can now tap into.

With the success of Instagram Stories, Facebook is pushing hard on Facebook Stories as a more immersive advertising experience – and soon these new ad units will be available in Messenger as well.

Lastly, another huge bonus – you can use the same creative on Facebook Stories that you do on Instagram Stories.

What should I expect from using Facebook Stories ads?

The full screen immersive experience gives advertisers a better chance to resonate with customers than just passing by an ad while scrolling through their News Feed. This could potentially even increase CTRs with more engaged users.

Finally, by introducing this new ad unit Facebook is creating more ad inventory on the platform. Combined with the ability to leverage Instagram stories creative, this makes Facebook Stories ads a great way to reach larger audiences and increase the utilization of Stories creative assets.

What are the drawbacks to using Facebook Stories ads?

Currently, Facebook Stories ads are skippable, potentially resulting in a less impactful impression. However, it is rumored that Facebook will potentially make Stories unskippable in the future, guaranteeing user impressions.

Facebook Stories ads are also only available on mobile, as with Instagram Stories ads.

How do you run Facebook Stories ads?

Facebook Stories ads can be used with mobile campaign objectives, whether you’re driving people to your mobile site or mobile app.

Running Facebook Stories ads is the same setup process as running Instagram Stories ads. To set up Facebook Stories ads, go to the mobile device targeting section at the ad set level and select the ‘Facebook Stories’ placement. Then, upload Stories creative (ad specs: Video, Image, Carousel).

Supporting data

Facebook’s news release on Stories ads shows the impact of the new ad unit among brands and users who have tested and used it:

  1. In the Ipsos survey, 62% of people said they became more interested in a brand or product after seeing it in a story.
  2. iHeartRadio, Kettle Chips and KFC are among the advertisers who have seen brand lift from their Facebook Stories ad campaigns.
  3. More than half of people surveyed said they’re making more online purchases as a result of seeing stories.
  4. 38% of people said that after seeing a product or service in a story they talked to someone about it, and 34% said they went to a store to look for it.
  5. Tentree, a sustainable, eco-friendly clothing company, and Skout, a dating app, both found that adding Facebook Stories to their Instagram Stories ad campaigns resulted in more customer actions at a lower cost. 
  6. An Ipsos survey of stories users commissioned by Facebook IQ found that 68% of people say they use stories on at least three apps regularly, and 63% plan to use stories more in the future.

Denna Mafie is a Content Marketing Associate at Growth Pilots. She helps curate and produce all of the content that we develop, including the article you just read 🙂