Facebook Stories to test ads as it reaches 150M user milestone

The tests begin Thursday in the US, Mexico and Brazil.

Abrar Al-Heeti Technology Reporter
Abrar Al-Heeti is a technology reporter for CNET, with an interest in phones, streaming, internet trends, entertainment, pop culture and digital accessibility. She's also worked for CNET's video, culture and news teams. She graduated with bachelor's and master's degrees in journalism from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Though Illinois is home, she now loves San Francisco -- steep inclines and all.
Expertise Abrar has spent her career at CNET analyzing tech trends while also writing news, reviews and commentaries across mobile, streaming and online culture. Credentials
  • Named a Tech Media Trailblazer by the Consumer Technology Association in 2019, a winner of SPJ NorCal's Excellence in Journalism Awards in 2022 and has three times been a finalist in the LA Press Club's National Arts & Entertainment Journalism Awards.
Abrar Al-Heeti
2 min read
Facebook Logo

Facebook has announced that its Stories platform has 150 million daily active users, and that it'll begin testing ads on Stories in the US, Mexico and Brazil starting Thursday.

The video ads are 5 to 15 seconds long, and users have the option to skip them. Facebook can automatically reformat ads on the News Feed with borders and text at the bottom, and ads on Instagram Stories can be extended to Facebook Stories. 

"Ads in stories have added a lot of value for businesses on Instagram, and we believe we can do the same on Facebook," Zoheb Hajiyani, Facebook product manager, said in a statement. "Ensuring that this is a good experience for people using the product will be our top priority."

Stories launched last March as a competitor to Snapchat Stories. The feature lets people post a string of videos and photos that disappear after 24 hours. Facebook-owned WhatsApp also has a similar feature, with over 450 million daily users. As of November, Instagram Stories had 300 million daily active users -- nearly twice as many as Snapchat. Instagram Stories and Snapchat both also feature ads.

At this year's F8, Facebook chief product officer Chris Cox said the company expects Stories will surpass feed posts sometime next year as the primary way to share things with friends. Over the next month, Facebook will begin showing ads from a small number of businesses before expanding to more advertisers and countries in the coming months. The company also plans to offer businesses more metrics on the performance of their Stories.

In the past, Facebook has tested various new features on Stories, including a desktop version and the ability to cross-post from its other apps.

First published May 17, 11:59 a.m PT.
Update, 3:36 p.m.: Adds confirmation and comment from Facebook.

Solving for XX: The industry seeks to overcome outdated ideas about "women in tech."

Tech Enabled: CNET chronicles tech's role in providing new kinds of accessibility.