In an effort to curate to user’s everyday experiences, Instagram has launched Stories – AKA a very close relative to Snapchat. Like, super close.
Here’s how it works
A bar will appear at the top of your feed including friends, similar accounts, or popular accounts you may follow. If one of these accounts has uploaded a Story, a colorful ring will appear around their profile picture. Similar to Snapchat, if you want to watch someone’s Story, simply press the profile picture. Though you cannot publicly comment on these Stories like regular Instagram posts, you do have the option of direct messaging that account holder.
When it comes to privacy, Stories follow the lead of your Instagram accounts privacy. If your account is open to the public, so are your Stories. If your account is private, however, only those accounts who follow you will have access to your 24-hour masterpieces. Also similar to Snapchat, by swiping along to side of the Story you can see who has viewed your video or photo. You can also post Stories on your profile.
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Stories vs. Snapchat
You don’t need to use Stories for any extended period of time before realizing how similar it is to Snapchat – not including the new Snapchat Memories. But who knows – maybe Instagram Stories will roll out their own version of Memories as well?
What I find particularly interesting is that Snapchat has always been the go-to platform for raw and genuine experiences. This is a major contrast to the initial purpose of Instagram – taking a picture, editing and adjusting, and THEN posting. Instagram has evolved into a massive platform for the artistically inclined and photography savvy. I could easily see someone new to Instagram being intimidated by all of the accounts with photos that have clearly been taken with a professional camera, airbrushed, and altered. It’s obvious that some accounts, and not even those of brands or celebrities, spend a lot of time and effort in photos they post. Contrast that to Snapchat, where photos and videos are taken on the fly – therefore users don’t have that pressure to be perfect. The launch of Stories could be Instagram’s plea for less staged, picture-perfect platform.
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The challenge facing marketers
When we consider major social media platforms, whats one thing they all have in common? They all have features that allow them to distribute real-time content. So perhaps it was only a matter of time before Instagram hopped on the real-time train – maybe we should have been expecting this. But with Snapchat recently introducing Memories – the ability to post previously taken pictures and video – that’s the complete opposite of real-time. Snapchat recently surpassed Twitter for daily users, now reaching over 150 million. With that in mind, I think it’s safe to say that wherever Snapchat leads, others will follow. Which begs the questions :
Could static content be making a comeback?
Is real-time content still impactful as it once was?