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Instagram is bringing ads to Reels

Facebook is also testing a new type of ad for Stories, with ‘sticker ads.’

This illustration picture shows Instagram's new video feature "Reels" on a smartphone in front of a screen showing an Instagram logo, on August 6, 2020 in Los Angeles. - Instagram on August 5 added a new short-form video feature to the image-focused platform in a direct challenge to TikTok. "Reels" lets users record videos of up to 15 seconds and provides tools for editing, audio and effects, according to the Facebook-owned company. (Photo by Chris DELMAS / AFP) (Photo by CHRIS DELMAS/AFP via Getty Images)
CHRIS DELMAS via Getty Images
Karissa Bell
Karissa Bell|@karissabe|April 22, 2021 9:00 AM

Less than a year after launching its TikTok clone, Instagram is bringing ads to Reels. The full-screen ads will be arriving first in India, Germany, Brazil and Australia before landing in more countries “in the coming months.”

The spots are similar to Instagram’s ads for Stories. Ads can run up to 30 seconds, and users can interact with them the way they would with organic posts (including skipping them altogether). Ads can also include “shop now” buttons, according to screenshots shared by the company.

Facebook is also experimenting with a new ad format for Stories: sticker ads. Meant for influencers, the ads “allow creators to monetize their Facebook Stories with ads that look like stickers and receive a portion of the resulting revenue.” The brand-created stickers will allow influencers to link to specific products their followers can buy.

Instagram will put ads in Stories with stickers.

A spokesperson noted that it’s the first time Facebook has experimented with a revenue-sharing feature within Stories, but declined to provide details of the arrangements. The feature will be available to a “select” group of advertisers and creators. Sticker ads is the latest of several monetization tools Instagram has explored. It also allows creators to sell badges and products in live streams, and shares revenue with creators who run ads in IGTV.

Updated to clarify that sticker ads are coming to Facebook Stories, not Instagram,

Instagram is bringing ads to Reels