“No one actually uses Facebook Stories, it’s all about Instagram.”

But is that actually true. Well, if you step back… not really. Facebook is in a scary and exciting time, as their audience shake up and expect to digest their newsfeed in totally different ways than before.

Stories’ are a simple, quick and effective way to post an update on social media. Instagram has increased their value with added elements such as Polls, Mentions and Music Stickers while Snapchat introduced lenses – which Instagram soon stole.

A survey from Cowen has shown that Stories will be more and more integral to consumers and Facebook is in a place of power, having a Stories products in each of its four major apps: Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, and Messenger.

Most of us think of Instagram Stories as the go-to for 24-hour self destructing content. But in reality, there’s a whole world outside of this app where users are engaging with Stories daily.

I get asked a lot, what is next for social media in 2019? and honestly, I still believe it is Stories.

WhatsApp is still currently the Stories king, with their product reaching the furthest globally. Especially in the Eastern world, WhatsApp’s clone of Snapchat Stories, WhatsApp Status, now has 450 million daily active users.

For example, WhatsApp is popular in India with nearly 200 million users alone, and that’s one of the most important growing digital markets in the world.

It’s important to note brands have latched onto Instagram Stories far more than WhatsApp or Facebook, and with it’s simple 15 second swipes, (plus now further expanded ad models) it’s an advertisers dream.

In campaigns I’ve worked on, we’ve seen some of our best conversions from Stories – with users enjoying the nativeness of brand content, with 1 in 3 Stories watched on Instagram a brands. Users enjoy seeing their favourite brands slot inbetween their friends content, unlike on Facebook where users are still frustrated with algorithm content and the lack of ‘real’ sharing happening.

The best Stories, ads or not, are simple in concept – present their content well, grab attention and also feel interactive.

It’s going to be a huge challenge for Facebook in 2019 – but if they can get users across to Stories on Facebook it could solve a good few of their issues. Stories are growing 15X faster than feeds according to TechCrunch, so they’re integral to the way users are now seeing content from their friends, but more importantly for Facebook’s monetisation… brands.

With YouTube, and Google AMP also rolling out Stories – they’re not going away anytime soon. 2019 will be the year of the Story.