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Instagram Stories gets another big feature: Ads

by Brandon Russell | January 11, 2017January 11, 2017 3:30 pm PDT


Instagram will begin to insert ads between photos and videos in Instagram’s new Stories feature, the company’s head of product management Vishal Shah confirmed on Wednesday. The move gives parent company Facebook yet another way to monetize its platforms, having introduced ads to Instagram’s main feed over a year ago.

Really, the arrival of ads in Stories was an inevitability. With over 150 million people using Stories per day (as of January 2017), it’s easy to see why Instagram would serve ads in one of its most popular features. If you’ve ever used Snapchat, Instagram’s new ads will be a lot like that; users will be fed ads that are made to look like a regular story.

Instagram will begin running ads from more than 30 companies, including Airbnb, Netflix, and General Motors, before expanding the feature to more advertisers in the coming weeks. An Instagram executive told The New York Times the social network will monitor feedback from users to determine how frequently ads appear.

“We’ll watch it closely, but I think we’ll introduce it and over time it will be expected just like on home feed—you see the sponsored logo and know ads are just part of the experience,” explained James Quarles, vice president of monetization at Instagram.

Instagram ads aren’t all that bad

Lucky for users, Instagram’s implementation of ads is pretty seamless—at least in the main feed. Ads don’t stand out any more than a normal picture, and they can easily be skimmed over. Users should expect a similar level of seamlessness when ads start hitting Stories over the coming days and weeks.

When ads begin hitting your Stories feed, there will be a clear indicator that you’re watching sponsored content. And if you don’t like the ads being served, you can simply skip past it, exactly as you might on Snapchat.

Recently, Instagram introduced live streaming to its platform, along with the ability to ad stickers, location, and more to pictures and video.


Brandon Russell

Brandon Russell enjoys writing about technology and entertainment. When he's not watching Back to the Future, you can find him on a hike or watching...