Instagram Stories: Early days

By: Richard Michie

Instagram launched a new addition to their app – Instagram Stories. This once mighty app has been losing ground hand over fist to Snapchat, which could be put down to the buyout by Facebook as there’s nothing stifles innovation more than design by committee.

When you open Instagram you’ll see a set of circles at the top featuring accounts you follow. If there is a red circle around the icon, it shows that they have a new story. The catch is that these stories only hang about for 24 hours, this is where Instagram are trying to compete with Snapchat.

What are the benefits of Instagram Stories?

Instagram Stories have added functionality over their standard video and image posts. The most obvious is that rather than a single video or image you can string a load together. On top of that you can now add text and doodles to images and videos as well.

If done well, this can be a great storytelling tool allowing you to build a narrative in a long stream rather than having content spread across a timeline.

Talking of the timeline, as Instagram have now added an algorithm your posts might not be seen as often as they were. Instagram Stories on the other hand, sit at the top bypassing the algorithm all together giving brands a better opportunity to be seen if only for 24 hours.

Building your brand with Instagram Stories

It’s very early days for Instagram Stories, most early adopters are still playing and finding out what can be done. One standout so far in Innocent Smoothies, their story posted today manages to get across all their brand values while still looking like they are playing with the app. To be fair that’s how they’ve built their brand from day one, which is probably why it works so well.

As Instagram Stories can’t be shared (yet) getting over how they work is tough. Hopefully, my slider gives you an idea even though it can’t give you the sound or video.

Instagram Stories aren’t going to work for everyone, but for brands who can ensure it adds to their story it could be a great addition to their digital marketing armoury.

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