Facebook’s adaptation of Snapchat’s stories format is now being used by 150 million users a day, the company announced Thursday. And with that milestone reached, Facebook is setting its sights on monetizing stories with ads.
“More and more people are using Facebook Stories to connect with friends and businesses, and we’re going to start testing ads in Stories to help people discover products and services they might be interested in,” said Facebook product manager Zoheb Hajiyani. “Ads in stories have added a lot of value for businesses on Instagram, and we believe we can do the same on Facebook.”
The company announced Thursday that it will start testing video ads in Facebook stories in the U.S., Mexico and Brazil, before making the format available in other markets. Advertisers in those three countries will be able to buy 5- to 15-second video clips, which can also be based on existing Instagram or Facebook ad revenue.
Facebook first copied Instagram’s stories when it brought the format to Instagram in August of 2016. Since then, the company has storified pretty much all of its mobile apps, adding the visual format to Messenger and Whatsapp as well.
Out of those apps, Whatsapp’s implementation is the most successful, with Facebook sharing earlier this month that 450 million users look at Whatsapp’s “status” stories every day. Stories have also been very successful for Instagram, where they now attract 300 million users every day.
Snapchat on the other hand has 191 million users across its entire service. The service’s user growth has been stalling, to the dismay of investors. Shares Snapchat’s corporate parent Snap were traded for $10.56 at the close of markets Thursday, compared to an IPO price of $17.
News of the milestone and the coming ads initiative was first reported by Techcrunch Thursday.