Instagram Stories have hit the daily user count of 500 million, which is up from the 400 million reported in June 2018.
Stories are growing amongst advertisers as well, with 2 million now buying Stories ads across Instagram and Facebook.
These numbers were revealed during Facebook’s Q4 2018 earnings call, where CEO Mark Zuckerberg hailed Stories as the company’s latest big game-changing feature.
Instagram’s daily active users were not reported, though Zuckerberg says more than 2 billion people use at least one of Facebook’s properties every day.
So the amount of people viewing Stories each day represents a significant percentage of the company’s daily users.
Yes, Stories are popular, but what’s next?
After spending 2018 focusing primarily on improving security, Zuckerberg says 2019 is all about building new experiences.
More specifically, the company is planning to deliver new experiences in the following areas.
Shopping and Commerce
Zuckerberg says the area he’s most excited about when it comes to Instagram, is delivering “qualitatively new experiences” in commerce and shopping.
Messaging is the area growing most quickly, Zuckerberg says. Without revealing too much, he adds:
“…and this year people are going to feel these apps becoming the center of their social experience in more ways.”
He may be referring to the company’s plans to allow Messenger, Instagram, and WhatsApp users communicate with each other.
The way people experience groups and communities will deepen this year.
“We’re going to get to a point soon where people feel like Facebook is about communities as much as it’s about your friends and family…”
Zuckerberg is hopeful that Watch becomes more mainstream. There are currently 400 million people who use it every day.
Facebook may introduce new ways for video content to grow outside of the news feed.
For more information, you can read Zuckerberg’s full statement here.