Instagram has revolutionized the way people tell stories through photography. Rocketing to prominence after its $1 billion acquisition by Facebook in 2012, it has captured a total of 400 million users.
That makes it more popular than Twitter, Google Plus, and LinkedIn!
With the introduction of Instagram Stories, the network is taking another step to fast, versatile sharing. Instagram Stories addresses one of the platform’s issues – over-posting – by creating a new, slideshow-based format.
A Quick Introduction to the Newest Instagram Format
Each Instagram Story contains multiple images or videos. As the user selects elements, they are synthesized into a slideshow. Creators can add text or drawings with a variety of new tools.
Things to remember:
- Instagram Stories disappear after just 24 hours;
- They won’t appear on the profile grid or feed;
- Videos can last for a maximum of 10 seconds;
- A bar at the top of their feed alerts users to new Instagram Stories from accounts they follow.
Once engaged with a Story, users can scroll through at their leisure. There are no public comments or “likes” on this content. Instead, users can send private messages to the Story’s creator.
With Stories, Instagram is No Longer the “Highlights Reel”
For spontaneous, goofy, unpolished content, Snapchat has long been the platform of choice. With the launch of Stories, Instagram cements its position as a “Snapchat for adults” that can more easily accommodate branded content.
What does it all mean for businesses?
You Can Reshare and Reshape Your Content
Enterprises that have a presence on Snapchat will find Instagram Stories a convenient way to repurpose content. Snapchat “snaps” can instantly become Instagram Stories, reducing duplication of effort while amplifying your voice. Stories are also a great way to enhance ROI on Instagram itself. Using Stories gives greater urgency and interactivity to your messaging.
You Can Get Near-Immediate Attention
Instagram Stories get priority positioning on your followers’ screens. They appear above the feed, and stand shoulder-to-shoulder with Stories notifications from the user’s friends and influencers. Brands who use stories in a consistent, customer-focused way may be able to integrate into users’ daily social routines.
You Have a New Avenue for “Flash” Content
Thanks to their time-sensitive nature, Instagram Stories may be perfect for 24-hour sales or hype-building content where impact will be maximized by immediate consumption. Although videos can only last 10 seconds, they can easily redirect users to other content or platforms with greater versatility.
With Stories, Instagram opens the door to a whole new way for brands to connect with their visually-oriented followers. Over time, this may put Instagram on the same footing as Snapchat, YouTube, and other fast-paced platforms when it comes to brand building.