What It Is:
Instagram Stories, a new Instagram-specific feature that was introduced just this past week, is similar in concept to a Snapchat Story, where users make short videos to tell their story or narrative. According to Instagram:
“As you share multiple photos and videos, they appear together in a slideshow format: your story. With Instagram Stories, you don’t have to worry about overposting. Instead, you can share as much as you want throughout the day — with as much creativity as you want. You can bring your story to life in new ways with text and drawing tools.”
Stories from users you follow will appear in the top bar of your Instagram feed, and when there’s something new to see, the user’s circular profile picture will be surrounded by a colorful ring. Also similar to Snapchat, these Insta Stories disappear in 24 hours, so check back often to see what your favorite people are sharing! Want to learn more? Check out Instagram’s promo video on the Instagram blog.
How Your Business Can Benefit from Instagram Stories:
While this may seem like yet another medium and update to keep up with, Instagram Stories may actually be the opposite. In fact, to keep things simple and seamless, Instagram integrated the power of Snapchat into its platform. What does this mean for you? If you’re already active on Instagram, and have a good following there, you can continue to place the majority of your social media marketing efforts into this single platform, rather than trying to direct traffic over to Snapchat. The beauty of Snapchat’s “Snap Stories” has always been that they are informal and off the cuff, rather than the more staged Instagram photo. For this reason, Snap Stories may have felt more authentic to some users, thereby helping businesses inch closer to establishing company-client trust. However, now that Instagram Stories exist, users have the ability to tap into that genuine, informal narrative power that was once only accessible through Snap Stories, without jostling between two (or more) platforms. For more ways to attract your target audience, check Shopify’s tips and strategies for Instagram marketing.
While many users are annoyed by Instagram’s update, saying that Instagram ripped off Snapchat’s idea, we’ve found many differences between the two platforms’ storytelling features. Furthermore, through experimenting on our personal accounts, we’ve found significant differences between the two in the number of views: we get many more views on an Instagram Story than a traditional Snapchat Story. With these ideas in mind, we encourage you to play around with Instagram’s newest feature — it could be just what you need to get out of your social media marketing funk!