You may have noticed a new addition to Instagram today… Instagram Stories. Instagram Stories is a feature that allows users to take, edit, and share photos and videos that will expire after 24 hours. The new feature is already causing controversy due to its striking similarities to another social media platform — Snapchat. But the real question is, what does this mean for your business? Well, it’s early days, but let me try to explain…
So what exactly is ‘Instagram Stories’?
Instagram Stories is a new feature on the social media platform that allows users to share pictures and videos in a stream. You can post unlimited photos and videos to your story and edit them with text and drawing tools. Any photos or videos posted to your story will disappear 24 hours after being posted.
You can see stories uploaded by the people you follow in a bar at the top of your screen. When viewing stories, you can go back and rewatch stories by tapping or skip stories by swiping, but there is no option to like or comment on stories. You can set your privacy settings so that you choose who sees your posts. You can “feature” photos or videos from your story by posting them on your main Instagram profile. Whilst direct comparisons to Snapchat are being made, Instagram has not announced functions similar to Snapchat’s geofilters or lenses. According to Mashable, you can only post past photos or videos that you have taken in the previous 24 hours. This is unlike Snapchat Memories, which allows you to use any photos or videos on your phone’s camera roll, no matter when they were taken.
So what should my business be doing? Should I use Snapchat or Instagram Stories?
Wait and see. We don’t know how users of the social media platform will interact with Instagram Stories. One thing’s for sure – people won’t dump Snapchat in favour of Instagram stories. Our advice is to post content that is relevant and engaging to your existing followers on each platform. Try Instagram Stories out and see what the reaction is to your posts. Have a look at which social media platform is delivering more results for you in terms of engagement and conversion. I think that businesses will start making a bigger shift to Instagram than they would with Snapchat because it is a much easier place to grow your audience and utilise its functionalities; think of it this way – with Snapchat, you have to find your audience first, but with Instagram there is a ‘discover’ functionality.
I’m pushed for time… this will just increase my workload, won’t it?
The addition of Instagram Stories means you or your employees with social media responsibilities will likely be spending more time on content for the platform. However, it’s probably worth your while to take advantage of this new feature.
So how should I focus my business’ social media efforts? Which social media platform should I concentrate on?
Everyone wants a black and white answer. The reality? It is shades of grey. And the goal posts keep moving as the social media platforms change the rules, the media they offer and their algorithms. It is very early days for Instagram Stories, but it does mean business owners have to contend with yet another change and provide additional content. If you have any questions about Instagram, please call us and will be able to advise you in more detail.