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Instagram Stories hits 150 million daily users, introduces advertisements

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Instagram has reached another major milestone. The company announced that Stories now has 150 million daily users. The announcement comes around 6 months after a similar announcement from competitor Snapchat, which reached the milestone in June, last year. In what is being seen ad a rather unconventional way to celebrate reaching the mark, Instagram has announced that it is monetizing its stories feature.

The feature, which was launched around 5 months ago, and allowed users to post stuff from their daily lives — pictures that hadn’t spent hours under beautifying applications — with the understanding that anything posted in Instagram stories will automatically disappear after a 24-hour period. The feature, which many said was filched from Snapchat, was a hit and has reached 150 million daily users in merely 5 months.

The company is now moving to monetize this huge audience and has announced advertisements, that will appear mixed with the stories. The advertisements will be either in picture or video format and will have durations of 5 and 15 seconds respectively. What’s more, they are un-clickable and can easily be skipped. However, that doesn’t say much considering that with the advent of creative advertising, publishers are creating ads that is almost as good (and sometimes better) than actual content. Deep? Meaningful? Humorous? It is interesting how an ad for a shoe can incorporate all these elements and more into a short video clip.

However, if you would rather not watch the ad, you can skip it. The feature is currently being tested with the likes of Capital One, General Motors, Nike and Netflix. However, expect it to roll out globally in the near future.

Meanwhile, Instagram Stories is actually a good place to spawn ads. Believe it or now, people like watching pictures and clips of upcoming products and knowing more about them — which many be why almost 70 percent of Instagram’s population follows one business or other and a third of the most watched stories on the platform are created by businesses (which is also thanks in part to the creative advertising I was talking about).

As per Instagram,

When it comes to stories from businesses, people are highly engaged. People and businesses have been discovering each other since the beginning—with 70% of Instagrammers following a business—so it’s no surprise that one-third of the most viewed stories are from businesses.

Meanwhile, business accounts will receive a bunch of new analytics on the reach of their ads. Instagram will also tell them about the number of impressions, replies and exits from their stories-cum-ads. Interestingly enough, Unlike how other companies like Facebook count views, Instagram will count every view as an impression. The platform may eventually include the option to swipe or click to be taken to the advertisers website — in case you want to buy that product or know more — however, it is sticking to just showing ads for now.

A bibliophile and a business enthusiast.

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