IG Stories Test 1: Image Vs. Text

Instagram stories are short videos (usually under 15 seconds) that disappear from your social feed within 24 hours. It seems like the story video format is everywhere you look these days, and this is only going to grow in 2019. In fact, Mark Zuckerberg is betting even bigger than he already has on the stories format. With stories being so popular, it seemed like the perfect time to run some tests and see how different types of promoted stories perform.

We used Facebook’s Split testing platform (as always) for this test and targeted Instagram stories. We partnered up with Builders by betaworks, thanks to host and producer Laila Oweda.

About Builders: “A betaworks podcast highlighting the people who are making a dent in the universe. New episodes every Tuesday.”

About The Test

For this we thought we might as well start off with a re-do our original split test, but adapt it for IG Stories.

We pulled a clip from Episode 13 of Builders, which featured one of my favorite people in the world of audio, founder of Gimlet Media, Alex Blumberg.

Unit 1: Animated Captions

Unit 2: Single Image Audiogram

Unit 3: Static Image


We put these video units into a Traffic Acquisition Split test along with the static image.

The Results

Animated Captions9315,7120.59%$1.08
Single Image Audiogram7011,9470.59%$1.43
Static Image8316,3560.51%$1.20

Going into this test, I thought for sure that Alex Blumberg’s beautiful mug would win the campaign hands down, but no! In terms of Cost per Click, Animated text was the winner, followed by the static image of the Builders podcast logo, followed by the image post (sorry Alex!).

These results are contrary to what we found on our Facebook split tests (where image and video beat out text), and highlight potentially a different aspect of stories to consider—animated text alone can drive good engagement, so next time you’re going to promote something on IG Stories, give text a try.

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