Recently, photo-sharing social platform Instagram unveiled its newest feature — Stories. Sound familiar? That’s because it is — the new Stories feature for Instagram is quite similar to Snapchat’s stories. Instagram’s stories live at the top of a user’s newsfeed, allowing you to share a stream of photos that expire after 24 hours, just like Snapchat. Based on the social network’s blog post introducing Instagram Stories, the feature exists for users who want to share moments of their day with followers, not just the perfectly primed pictures that live on users’ feeds.
After the news made its way into the world, Snapchat fans responded accordingly.
All jokes aside, let’s a take a look at what’s different about Instagram’s new Stories and what the feature means for marketers:
Snapchat vs. Instagram Stories
According to The Next Web, though Instagram’s Stories is exactly that of the Snapchat feature, it’s actually better and more well considered — though without the wide range of face-changing filters Snapchat users have come to know and love (we’re lookin’ at you dog filter). Instagram’s Stories include the ability to draw over pictures, with fewer buttons that streamline the process of sharing photos. The feature also does not utilize the swipe function, but instead labeled buttons that make the use of different features easier to follow. Unlike Snapchat, Instagram makes in-app messaging easier with a ‘Send Message’ button that is hard to miss.
Users can also choose who they want to hide their Stories from before posting. Prior to sharing a moment, users can go to their story settings and select ‘Hide My Story From’ to then select what individuals they prefer not to see an update — said individuals can still see a user’s profile and posts, just not the story. Similarly, users who want to prevent malicious comments on their stories can prevent certain people from commenting via their settings. Through their personal settings, users can opt for everyone, people you follow, or off which disables the commenting feature for everyone. For companies and celebrities in particular who are constantly fending off negative commentary, this ability is a welcome feature.
What Instagram Stories Mean for Marketers
With the introduction of Facebook Live, and now Instagram’s Stories, it’s increasingly evident that digital storytelling is the new normal. For marketers and brands alike looking to get in front of target consumers, the necessity of identifying and distributing the right type of content is higher than ever. This means brands and marketers representing brands should be looking to create content that’s different from the carefully curated imagery and video that we’re used to seeing on social platforms. People crave interactive content that breaks down the barriers between brand and consumer — think behind the scenes videos or pictures that allow fans to feel a real-time connection to a brand.
Additionally with Instagram Stories, brands and marketers can take advantage of brand influencers — who already largely own the Instagram space and attract millions of post engagements on a daily basis. This tactic is hardly new to brands on Instagram, but with Instagram’s Stories feature, influencers can step up it up a notch with real-time video and imagery, 24/7.
To close it out, we thought we’d share a couple more of our favorite memes resulting from Instagram’s announcement.
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