Facebook’s Q4 earnings call revealed that Instagram Stories has now reached a daily user count of 500 million. That figure stood at 100 million in October 2016 and 400 million as recently as June. This means that approximately half of the 1 billion Instagram users are now checking out Instagram Stories daily.
They also reported that 2 million advertisers are now buying Stories ads on Instagram and Facebook, prompting CEO Mark Zuckerberg to call the offering a game-changer. He said the firm is looking to monetize Facebook Stories at the same level as its News Feed.
The Instagram Stories feature allows users of the Instagram app to capture and post pictures and videos in a slideshow format, adding text and emoticons as desired.
Although the number of daily active users on Instagram was not revealed, Zuckerberg did say that more than 2 billion users visit at least one Facebook property each day.
Zuckerberg says that the firm is looking to add “qualitatively new experiences” in shopping and commerce to the Instagram platform. He also said they plan to add new private sharing options to Stories.
In addition, he said that WhatsApp and Messenger can expect to see new messaging features to place them at the centre of people’s social experiences. WhatsApp payments will also be expanded to reach more countries.
Facebook ad revenue tops $16.6bn
Meanwhile, the earnings report showed that Facebook’s ad revenue topped $16.6 billion, a 30 percent year-over-year rise, with much of this being driven by Instagram and Stories. While the average ad price dropped by 2 per cent, ad impressions went up by 34 per cent.
Despite noting that the firm faces a revenue growth deceleration in 2019, Chief Financial Officer David Wehner said: “Obviously, we believe we’ve got the best advertising products out there in terms of being able to deliver measurable business results to clients. And so we think that does help us in that environment.”
While Facebook did not break down its ad revenue by ad product type, they did disclose that 93 per cent of their ad revenue in the fourth quarter was generated by mobile advertising.
This news should be comforting to any advertisers who were concerned about the user privacy issues at Facebook that have been making headlines recently. Experts say it appears that Facebook still has the reach marketers need to engage with audiences.