In recent days, when I logged into my Instagram account I spotted 5 bubbles at the top of my screen which turned out to be the newly released app update called Instagram Stories. In my opinion, this is a big brave move by Instagram but not surprising that it’s so similar to Snapchat. Facebook (who actually own Instagram!) has always been on Snapchat’s tail, even trying to acquire the app back in 2013. Important to point out that Instagram currently claims to have 300 million daily users, compared to Snapchat’s 150 million active users.
So, what is Instagram Stories all about?
Basically, it allows users to share photos and videos with their followers in a way that is extremely similar to Snapchat. Instagram users can now upload photos and 10 second videos, post them to their story and can even add text, drawings and emojis! And just like Snapchat, these “Instagram Stories” disappear after 24 hours. While Instagram Stories are not quite as advanced as Snapchat in terms of its customisation with geofilters, stickers and interactive lenses, Instagram Stories are incredibly easy to use and most definitely encourages engagement with the content!
It’s very clear to me that brand’s need to be ready to embrace this change – it’s a bold move but I can already see it becoming a daily part of my social media activity! Social media users are going to either shift some of their attention to Instagram Stories (meaning this spike in interaction with Instagram is a great opportunity for brands) or will spend more time on Snapchat and Twitter giving out about Facebook trying to copy Snapchat!
The challenge for brands includes:
- How do we create more content for yet another platform
- Where do we invest our time/content for best ROI
- How do we get our brand content into the top 5 stories on Instagram
- Will it be possible to promote content on Instagram Stories to ensure visibility? (I would put money on this by the way!)
It will be interesting to see how users respond, switch or remain within both platforms, and how brands would respond. Interesting to see if Instagram Stories eventually become a separate app (the way that Facebook Messenger broke from the pack) to directly compete with Snapchat?
Whether it’s Instagram or Snapchat stories, one thing’s for sure… this story between Facebook/Instagram and Snapchat is definitely one to watch!