Sharing content on Instagram has been raised to another level after a new update to the platform was recently rolled out. Known as Instagram Stories, the new feature allows you to curate your photo and video moments in an interesting and unique way and share with all your followers.
Now, you might be asking what’s so special about this new feature, since Instagram is the ultimate app when it comes on to sharing photos and videos. However, in addition to the fact that your stories will appear in sequence via a slideshow format, they will also be ephemeral. That is, they will disappear from your profile grid and feed in 24 hours.
This is an obvious response to the curation format utilized to perfection by Snapchat, which allows its users to share daily stories that disappear after being viewed. Snapchat has been one of the fastest growing social media channels in recent times, especially among millennials, and is responsible for over 10 billion video views on average daily. Instagram has been looking for ways to maintain their dominance in photo sharing after falling down earlier this year in the area of engagement.
Creating Your Story
Creating and sharing your Instagram Stories is easy and you don’t have to worry about over-posting since they will automatically be deleted.
In fact, you won’t really be doing anything different from how you normally take photos and videos, the difference will be how they are shared.
Additionally, with Instagram Stories, you can amp up the creativity using an assortment of text and drawing tools.
Sharing Your Story
How you share your story directly follows your privacy settings on Instagram. Hence, if your profile is set to private, only your followers will be able to see your story and you’ll only be able to see theirs. However, you also have the option to modify your privacy settings for your stories to exclude anyone you don’t want to see it, no matter if they follow you. If you would like to view your own story, you can always swipe up and also check who has viewed your photos and videos. Furthermore, if you want a specific video or photo from your story to be featured on your profile, it is possible to post it on your profile.
It’s also easy to view the stories of others; you’ll see them in a bar at the top of your feed. To view, simply tap on the profile pic of a follower who has a story. You can browse their story by tapping left and right to go back and forward; swipe if you want to jump to another user’s story. One other thing about Instagram stories that sets them apart from regular posts is that you can’t like them or make public comments. You can, however, send a private message to a friend using Instagram Direct if you want to comment on their story.
How Businesses Can Use Instagram Stories
If you show off your products and services on Instagram, the Stories feature now gives you more options to share your offerings in a creative and attractive way. You can use the text and drawing tools to highlight the best features of what you’re offering and potentially increase engagement. This is a good way to enhance your advertising efforts and possibly get closer to your target audience.
If you need a reminder as to why marketing your business on Instagram is important and why Instagram Stories and other features are relevant, here are a few statistics to consider:
- Instagram now has over 500 million active users.
- With over 60% of all users checking in daily, it is the second most engaged social network.
- Users engaging with brands is far higher on Instagram than other platforms; 10 times higher than on Facebook, 84 times higher than on Twitter and up to 54 times more than Pinterest.
- Instagram users are 70% more likely to make online purchases than people who are not on the network.
- Average engagement per post on Instagram has grown by over 400% in the past few years.
Instagram Stories is available to users of both Android and iOS devices and will be gradually rolled out to everyone over the next few weeks. It’s another opportunity to further build your presence on the social network if utilized correctly.