Users should expect to begin seeing the ads, which will be limited to 15 seconds each, within the coming weeks, Instagram tells us. The Facebook-owned social sharing platform will start tests with a limited number of global brands, including Nike, Netflix and Maybelline New York.
The news comes a month after Instagram announced it had hit 600 million users, 100 million of whom signed up in just the last six months of 2016. Much of that growth is directly attributable to the Stories feature, which launched in the middle of 2016 and now sees over 150 million users a day, according to Instagram (that's up 50 percent in the past three months alone).
With all of those eyeballs, the arrival of ads should be no surprise to anyone. It follows in the footsteps of Snapchat, which introduced ads in June of last year and to which Instagram's Stories are often compared.
The new ads could spell big business for Instagram. Last November, the market research company eMarketer estimated the platform's 2016 ad revenue at $1.85 billion. That number only stands to grow once the platform finishes monetizing the Stories feature in the same way it monetized its main feed.