Social Media

Move over Snapchat: Ads are coming to Instagram Stories

Instagram app on a mobile phone
Andrew Harrer | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Instagram Stories, the platform's Snapchat-like feature, is getting advertisements.

The Facebook-owned company said Wednesday that brands will soon be able to place their own five-second photos or 15-second video clips in between Instagram Story user content. About 30 brands — including Capital One, General Motors, Buick, Nike and Netflix — will begin testing the ads later this month.

The ad style is similar to the format Snapchat rolled out in June 2016, which also lets companies place ads in between user content in order to create a more organic viewing experience.

"We are eager to bring this type of ad format to our advertisers," James Quarles, vice president of Instagram business, told CNBC. "We think that this has great interest from the businesses and brands we work with. This wasn't intended as a copy. We always monetize areas where there is growth in consumer demand."

Unlike Facebook's video ads, the Instagram Stories ads will automatically play with audio.

"The impact potential of these ads is even more compelling because the intimacy of these ads and the fact that they are sound on," Quarles said.

Airbnb's upcoming ad for Instagram Stories. Credit: Instagram

Since it launched in August, Instagram Stories has amassed 150 million daily active users, half of Instagram's total.

While the offering is similar to one of Snapchat's, Quarles said that brands using it will get the benefit of Facebook's measurement tools and thus get valuable information about things like a user's interests and demographic.

Though Facebook has recently been in hot water over measurement issues, Quarles said the company works with third parties, including Nielsen and Kantar Millward Brown, to verify that the data they give advertisers.

As part of the launch, Instagram will give business on the platform better insights into user behavior on Stories — a feature advertisers have been asking more of from Snapchat.