If you re one of the millions of Instagram users who likes the service s recently added Stories sharing feature, get ready to see more ads inserted between your friends clips in the near future.
Instagram announced on Wednesday that it is rolling out full-screen, auto-playing video ads to the Stories feature starting this week.The Facebook-owned service said the roll-out will start with a trial involving about 30 corporate partners and brands — including McDonald s, Airbnb and Nike — and then the new offering will be offered globally to any advertiser.
The Stories feature allows users to collect videos and photos and share that collection with friends who follow them on the service, which Facebook bought in 2012.There were reports this week that Instagram was already testing video ads in Stories, but director of product marketing Jim Squires said in an interview with Fortune on Tuesday that the tests have not officially begun.
He said Instagram plans a two or three-week test period before it offers the new feature to all 500,000 of its active advertisers.Instagram says more than 70% of users follow at least one business, and businesses have posted a third of the most-viewed Instagram Stories since the new feature was launched.
That suggested video ads might be well received by both users and advertisers, Squires said.A demonstration of the new offering showed how the ads appear as users scroll through their Instagram Stories, and how they look and behave very much like a regular video story, except for the fact that they come with a brand name attached.
And Instagram will be offering a full suite of analytics and metrics for that content, including the number of times a video ad is viewed and commented on.Instagram also announced on Wednesday that just five months after launching its Stories feature, it now has 150 million daily active users using it, out of a total Instagram user base of about 600 million.