Facebook urges businesses to cash in on 'Stories' feature

Jessica Fenol, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 07 2019 03:24 PM

MANILA - Facebook Philippines on Friday urged businesses to use Stories across its applications suite such as Facebook, Messenger and Instagram to drive growth. 

Stories, a combination of photo, video, music and other add-ons such as emojis, can pique customers' interest in brands, which can later translate into sales, Facebook Philippines country director John Rubio told reporters. 

With over 500 million accounts using Instagram Stories daily as of January 2019 and 300 million daily users of Facebook and Messenger Stories as of August 2018, mobile-driven storytelling has become an effective channel to reach consumers when used creatively, he said. 

"If you use stories, it’s another vehicle to be able to get your message out. But you have to use it right. If you do it really well, it will be a powerful medium to drive business growth," Rudio told ABS-CBN News. 

Stories need to "feel real," combining sales, promotions and tips in package that is quick and easy to understand, Facebook said.

It is also designed to be used vertically, which makes it easier for majority of users who hold their phones upright, he said. Facebook also started rolling out the "Music" feature on Friday that enables users to add lyrics and audio background to Stories. 

"The whole experience is geared toward interaction, a very visual medium that's aligned with how people consume today, right down to one flick of swiping up getting more information and then being able to click through... Stories inspires access and actions," Rubio said. 

Facebook urges businesses to cash in on 'Stories' feature 1
Stories interface. Photo: Facebook Newsroom

In the Philippines, 75 percent of respondents in a Facebook-commissioned poll said they use Stories on 3 or more apps at least once a week. 

Although Stories are "ephemeral," disappearing after 24 hours, its impact is not as it prompts consumers “to take immediate action on their online feeds," Rubio said.

At least 76 percent of Filipinos thought Stories was a great way for people to get to know new products or services, 62 percent said they become more interested in a brand or product after seeing it in Stories and 31 percent said they were more likely to connect to the brand using Stories, the survey showed.

Sixty-one percent of Filipino users said they were making more online purchases as a result of using Stories, compared to 64 percent in Asia-Pacific.

Rubio said the volume of Stories posted could likely overtake Feed content posts on Instagram and Facebook later this year. 

Advertisements placed on Instagram Stories Ads are also "growing," he said, without disclosing figures. 

"There's this new format which everyone is using and they're using it a lot. If they're [businesses] not getting into that bandwagon then they're going to be missing out," Rubio said.