- Ad spend on Instagram Stories jumped 70% in Q3 from a year earlier, per information that social media marketing firm Socialbakers shared with Mobile Marketer. The growth outpaced the 0.3% gain in ad spending on Facebook Stories.
- Instagram Stories made up about 10% of total ad spend on Facebook apps in Q3, while 62% went to Facebook's news feed, which is the centerpiece of the social network. However, marketing budgets are shifting to the Instagram feed, whose share of total ad spending on Facebook apps grew to 21% by the end of September from 18% a year earlier.
- Walmart is the top brand associated with Instagram influencers, who boosted their use of the #ad hashtag to indicate when their posts were sponsored by 60% in the past year. Because ads are seen on mobile devices 96% of the time, marketers need to have a "mobile-first" strategy, per Socialbakers.
Instagram Stories is an engaging feature of the image-sharing app because it urges people to check back in with the app frequently to avoid missing out on disappearing posts. That engagement has become a big draw for mobile marketers who have boosted their spending on Instagram Stories in the past year, as Socialbakers research indicates. The surge in ad spending on Instagram Stories compared with the paltry gain for Facebook Stories also suggests that marketers are seeing much better results from campaigns on the image-sharing app.
The differences also suggest differing usage patterns between Facebook, whose audience skews older, and Instagram, which competes with Snapchat for the attention of Generation Z. Snapchat first introduced Stories in 2013 to give users a way to combine multiple images in a single disappearing post, and Instagram copied the feature three years later to remain competitive. Since then, a variety of content-sharing apps — ranging from Giphy to Pinterest — have introduced their own versions of Stories to keep people coming back to their platforms.
For Facebook, the jump in Instagram Stories ad spending is another sign that Instagram has become a key growth engine, and important way to remain relevant with a younger audience. Because the company doesn't break out sales for its apps — which include its main social network, Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger — it's difficult to measure which platforms are seeing the most growth. Facebook's advertising revenue climbed 28% to $17.4 billion in Q3 from a year earlier, while daily active users (DAUs) expanded by 9% to 1.62 billion worldwide, per the company.