Facebook’s Stories feature seen to boost growth of businesses

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This photo illustration taken on March 23 shows Facebook logos on a computer screen in Beijing.

SOCIAL MEDIA giant Facebook urged businesses to use its Stories feature to boost their growth.

“There’s this new format which everyone is using…and they’re using it a lot. And the younger you are, the more you actually use it. And that if they’re (businesses) not getting on that bandwagon, they’re going to be missing out,” Facebook Philippines Country Head John Rubio told reporters on Friday in a briefing.

“This is where people are now and this is where people are sharing stories,” Mr. Rubio said.

Stories, which are photos and videos viewable within 24 hours, are used daily by 500 million accounts on Instagram and 300 million more on Facebook and Messenger.

According to a Facebook-commissioned Ipsos survey conducted in 12 countries, 62% of the people who use Stories became more interested in a product after viewing it via the feature, while 31% said they are more likely to use the Stories platform in the future to connect with brands.

In the Philippines, 76% of users surveyed found the use of Stories in advertising as great, with 61% saying that they were purchasing more online due to the feature. On the other hand, 58% said they are more interested in seeing Stories from brands that “feel real.”

“People love it because it’s full screen, very immersive. It’s ephemeral, so I’m not afraid to post something… It’s very playful, interactive,” Mr. Rubio said.

As of the first quarter, around three million advertisers were using Stories to advertise in Facebook’s family of applications (Facebook, Instagram and Whatsapp).

Mr. Rubio said both small and large businesses can benefit from the use of platforms like Stories.

“Stories give people the power to make the most out of mobile to drive business result,” he said.

The official also urged businesses to be more playful and “try to fit in with how people are using” Stories when creating ads.

“The more creative it is, the more people will want to interact and move forward,” Mr. Rubio added.

Facebook, Instagram and Whatsapp have already placed Stories at the forefront of their apps due to the growing number of content people put up and the increase in people using the feature.

“The Stories format may be fleeting, but its impact is not… There’s opportunity for brands to spark interest and prompt more consumers to take immediate action on their online finds,” Mr. Rubio said. — Katrina T. Mina