Facebook has officially rolled out Stories Ads to all advertisers – a new video format the network thinks could make the kind of impact as News Feed ads have had for more than half a decade now.

Facebook is optimistic Stories Ads will drive the next stage of its advertising prospects and the steep rise of people using Stories on Facebook and Instagram suggests the network’s executives could be right.

Here’s a look at the new ad format and what it could mean for your Facebook advertising strategy.

 

Introducing Facebook Stories Ads

Facebook introduced Stories in March 2017 as part of its efforts to curb the growth of Snapchat. Essentially, the feature is almost an exact clone of Snapchat Stories but this hasn’t stopped the format being a huge success for Facebook and Instagram.

Facebook has previously said that 400 million Instagram users are posting Stories every day and now the network says 300 million Facebook users are doing the same – not bad, considering the feature was rolled out significantly later for Facebook.

Now, Facebook is moving to monetise this growth.

 

 

With the number of people using Facebook Stories having doubled since May, this is the ideal time for Facebook to be rolling out this new ad format. Essentially, advertisers can pay to have one of their video ads slotted in between the slides of Stories. These ads will play for up to 15 seconds or until the user dismisses the ad.

The new ad format will come with access to all the targeting options that make Facebook such a powerful platform for reaching your target audience. Major bands such as KFC UK and Norwegian Airlines have reported big success with Stories Ads during the testing phase earlier this year – including 33% lower cost per view and 19% lower cost per impression for KFC.

 

Things to consider with Facebook Stories Ads

Before you get started with Stories Ads on Facebook, it’s worth taking a look at the network’s guidelines for the video ad format. On the technical side of things, these are the requirements you need to meet:

 

  • Video ratios: 1.91 to 9:16
  • For videos under 9:16: Coloured gradient bars are rendered above and below. Content from the “Text” field is placed below the video.
  • Video File Size: 4GB Max
  • Video Length: 1 to 15 seconds
  • Video Captions: Not available
  • Video Sound: Optional
  • Video thumbnail images that consist of more than 20% text may experience reduced delivery.

 

You’ll also want to leave roughly 14% (250 pixels) at the top and bottom of your videos without any text or logos, as this is where elements like profile icons and your call to action will go.

You’ll also want to keep in mind how user intent differs between scrolling through news feeds and swiping through Stories. One thing that remains to be seen is how patient users are going to be with ads once they start playing. Fifteen seconds is a long time in the world of Stories and you might want to test some shorter, punchier clips to see how this impacts views, clicks and ultimately conversions.

 

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