On March 28, 2017, Facebook launched Stories within its own app of nearly 2.2 billion monthly active users (MAUs). “Until now, Facebook was just running missile tests and fighting skirmishes on the frontier. Today Facebook declares total war on Snapchat” notes TechCrunch’s Josh Constine.
Facebook had successfully debuted Stories, a Snapchat invention, with Instagram to the tune of 300 million daily active users (DAUs). Instagram reached its first 150 million DAUs in five months. For perspective, Snapchat’s entire user base is slightly over 190 million DAUs. Facebook has recognized the critical importance of Stories to a profitable future and is focused on making Stories a global hit.
Here are the biggest Facebook Stories statistics marketers need to know:
Snapchat created Stories in 2013 and began the modern revolution for how increasingly more people are preferring to share content online. Now, instead of sharing links or articles on News Feeds, users are opting to use better and better smartphone camera technology to capture photos and videos on a daily disappearing storyline. Stories disappear from one’s profile after 24 hours have elapsed.
Facebook capitalized on Snapchat Stories’ proven popularity by incorporating the Stories medium into all of its owned properties: Instagram, WhatsApp, Messenger, and Facebook itself. As the following Facebook Stories statistics demonstrate, Stories on Facebook is still an emerging feature.
Related Post: Snapchat Stories Use is Down 33% in 6 Months
While Stories on other Facebook-owned properties are currently more popular (Instagram and WhatsApp have over 300 and 450 million DAUs respectively), Facebook continues to innovate and iterate Stories for its own app seeking to spur new growth and engagement. So far, Stories adoption on Facebook has been slow especially when compared with Stories adoption on Instagram — Instagram Stories gained 150 million DAUs over the course of five months (so a linear growth rate of 30 million users each month) whereas Facebook’s pace was nearly three times slower (about 11 million per month over the course of 14 months).
Since 2016, sharing and communicating via Stories has quickly outstripped traditional sharing on the News Feed. Before Stories, Facebook users posted by writing a status update, uploading a photo album, or sharing a link to an article. Posts are curated for friends and followers via the News Feed algorithm. In contrast, user Stories display at the very top of the News Feed in chronological order. When a user updates their Story, it bumps to the beginning of the feed, encouraging frequent updates.
At Facebook’s 2018 F8 conference, chief product officer Chris Cox revealed how Stories content will surpass News Feed sharing in 2019. While Facebook’s own Stories took 14 months to reach 150 million DAUs, the social network recognizes just how important Stories is to the future of communication. The world’s largest social media network forecasted that Stories use will become the dominant form of communication by 2019.
While not purely a Facebook Stories statistics, Stories’ growth rate (up over 800% since 2016) is largely due to Facebook’s successful implementation of the Stories medium and feature throughout Instagram, WhatsApp, and Messenger.
From Facebook’s latest Q1 2018 report:
“Stories is also a big part of the future of video sharing, which is why we’re all in on it across our family. Instagram was the first to really take off here. Facebook started slower but is now growing quickly too. And WhatsApp Status is by far the biggest of these products and continues to grow quickly.”
1.45 billion daily active users is behemoth and 10% of that (roughly 150 million) is still a formidable number for Facebook Stories users. However, Facebook is still significantly behind the Stories adoption rate currently achieved by Instagram. The world’s most popular photo-sharing platform has over 300 million of its total 500 million DAUs on Stories (over 60% of its daily active users are using Stories).
If Facebook can crack the nut on Facebook Stories, it’s got ample room to grow and a large audience base to pull and monetize from.
In addition to Facebook’s push to build and tailor features towards international users and trends, it’s also incorporating popular third-party apps like Spotify, SoundCloud, and GoPro directly into Facebook. By doing so, Facebook not only increases Stories’ features and functionality, but also ensures that audiences have an all-encompassing experience without needing to leave the platform. This translates to greater time spent viewing Stories and higher rates of engagement. This approach contrasts with Stories inventor Snapchat where the experience and sharing was largely closed off from other apps and cumbersome at best.
Whereas Snapchat focused almost entirely on being a U.S.-based “cult” hit, Facebook is bent on Stories adoption from the world over. As such, it has sent teams abroad to discern how international audiences use Facebook and geographical/technological limitations. To account for users with limited bandwidth or space on their smartphones, Facebook hosted photo and video archive so users will be able to enjoy and use Facebook Stories without affecting other everyday phone use.
Signaling its international focus, Facebook has developed country-specific slang Stories filters for 10 different countries including Ireland and Canada.