Why Facebook’s Stories Feature Is Critical to Company’s Long-Term Success

The ephemeral feature gives users a reason to keep checking its app — while giving Facebook another way to drive big ad sales

Copying your competitors pays off in a big way, at least for Facebook.

Mark Zuckerberg, while speaking during the company’s first quarter earnings call on Wednesday, said Facebook now has 500 million daily users of Stories, its ephemeral pictures and videos sharing feature, each day. Once you factor in Instagram and WhatsApp, which have their own versions of Stories, that number grows to 1.5 billion.

That’s an astonishing level of dominance since Snapchat — which introduced the world to Stories — only has 190 million daily active users to its first-to-market version.

The widespread adoption of Stories is a big deal for the social network; it gives Facebook, an ad-driven company, another avenue to hit users with ads. Investors noticed, with Facebook shares jumping 6% on Thursday, to $193.26 per share.

Analysts noticed, too, pointing out that Stories played a key role in Facebook’s ad impressions increasing dramatically year-over-year.

“This monetization (driven by FB’s continued innovation through tools like automatic placements and easier advertiser onboarding) bodes well for long-term ad revenue growth. Indeed, we believe Stories was…

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Sean Burch

Just a kid from the streets of Orange County, writing about tech