Instagram confirms it is testing increased ad loads in Stories

  •   August 26, 2019

Last month, Marketing Land talked to multiple marketers who reported a noticeable uptick in ad load on Instagram, with ads accounting for as much as 22% out of 45 posts and 23% of Stories. Now Instagram is confirming it is experimenting with increasing ad volume in Stories.

“We’re always testing new ad experiences on Instagram and want to learn how people and advertisers respond to this small test,” said a spokesperson from Facebook, Instagram’s parent company.

The test involves running ads from two different advertisers back-to-back within a Story, according to a report from AdWeek. The experiment is only being performed on a small group of users, and all advertisers are eligible to be part of the test.

Why we should care

While this is still only a small test, marketers who haven’t started running Story ads should take note. If Instagram makes way for more ads in Stories, advertisers who are already familiar with the ad format and have experience running success campaigns will be in prime position to to take full advantage of the increased ad inventory.

There is also the potential for ad fatigue by users if back-to-back Story ads become a more regular experience on the platform — making it even more important for brands to focus on the creative aspect of their campaigns to differentiate themselves from competitors.

Aimclear’s VP of Marketing Strategy Susan Wenograd talked about the need for marketers to pay more attention to ad creative earlier this year when we talked to her about how the social ad landscape was changing. “It feels like we’re edging into a different era,” said Wenograd, “I believe there are totally separate effects we are feeling from these platforms maturing, competition becoming much steeper, and the demand consumers have for creative that they can connect with.”

More on the news

  • Instagram told AdWeek the goal of the test is to determine the “right frequency” of Story ads in terms of user experience.
  • When we asked Instagram about reports of increased ad load in July, a spokesperson from the company said Instagram is always improving on the ad experience and that, “Ad load fluctuates based on how people use Instagram. We closely monitor people’s sentiment both for ads and overall commerciality.”
  • Earlier this month, Kenshoo reported Instagram Story ads accounted for nearly 20% of ad spend on the platform.

About The Author

Amy Gesenhues is a senior editor for Third Door Media, covering the latest news and updates for Marketing Land, Search Engine Land and MarTech Today. From 2009 to 2012, she was an award-winning syndicated columnist for a number of daily newspapers from New York to Texas. With more than ten years of marketing management experience, she has contributed to a variety of traditional and online publications, including MarketingProfs, SoftwareCEO, and Sales and Marketing Management Magazine. Read more of Amy’s articles.

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