What’s the New Instagram Stories Feature and How Can It Help Business?

instagram-storiesJust two short weeks ago (on August 2, 2016) Instagram introduced Instagram Stories, “…a new feature that lets you share all the moments of your day, not just the ones you want to keep on your profile. As you share multiple photos and videos, they appear together in a slideshow format: your story.”

According to Instagram’s announcement, “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. The photos and videos will disappear after 24 hours and won’t appear on your profile grid or in feed.”

Hold on…sounds a lot like Snapchat

It does resemble Snapchat’s My Story feature…a lot! Fear not. Imitation is exactly the philosophy behind Instagram Stories.

A Yahoo finance article says that, “Instagram Stories lets people string together several photos and videos, but with fewer filters and lenses, to appear atop Instagram users’ feeds. The result: a series of visual narratives for Instagram users to tap, swipe and giggle over, much the same way Snapchat users have done with friends’ stories for nearly two years now.”

Advantages for marketers

Instagram Stories has some clear advantages over Snapchat for marketers:

  • Its relationship with Facebook (and access to Facebook’s targeting tools)
  • Better analytics (see exactly how many people are viewing your story and who they are)
  • The possibility of publishing permanent as well as ephemeral content (particularly short-form videos)
  • An older target demographic
  • It allows users to tap into Instagram and Snapchat-like temporary options all in one place

Publish as much as you want about your business throughout the day…and be as creative as you want. Bring your business to life in new and exciting ways with text and drawing tools.

This rapid, daily turnover makes sense for some brands. Instagram Stories makes it like fast-moving, disposable content eye-candy, easily consumed, and leaving a lingering sense of a brand message. So it can be snack-sized content for some marketers or an appetizer leading to (or linking to) the main meal for others.

The future awaits…

Instagram Stories is so new, no one is quite sure how to fully tap into the feature and make the most of it. Brands are still scoping out future possibilities to leverage their own content on the platform (particularly publishers and broadcasters).

The community aspect, search and discovery tools and fact that Instagram came first (so people have greater followings there) are the main reasons influencers are finding themselves deviating (almost completely) from Snapchat. Influencers already have friends, a following and community on Instagram, so they spend the majority of their time on Instagram, and Stories will only keep them there even longer.

But, much more extensive testing will have to take place before full potential is realized.

Instagram Stories “…satisfies a craving for immediacy and ephemerality, one that has lately grown to encompass all of social media,” says the New Yorker.

Are you ready to tap into Instagram Stories? Give a shout out to Solamar!

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