When Instagram stories first launched in August of 2016, many people doubted their ability to compete with Snapchat. In fact, a lot of people felt like it was a blatant rip-off that would never stick. Both platforms offer essentially the same concept: a quick video for your followers’ entertainment which disappears after 24 hours. They both offer color filters, the largely popular puppy ears (amongst other animated filters), and the ability to add text to the video. So how is it that Instagram has acquired over 250 million daily users when Snapchat is only at 173 million despite being around for much longer? In the words of Anthony J. D’Angelo, they didn’t reinvent the wheel, they simply realigned it.
Unlike Snapchat, Instagram had the advantage of making their stories debut on a platform that was already established, Instagram itself. In this day and age, convenience is key– people want to consume information quickly in a way that is fun and engaging. Whether people have noticed it or not, the convenience of having stories on Instagram is nice, especially when phones can get so easily saturated with apps that take up storage space. Also, for many users the content they consume on Snapchat overlaps with the people or businesses they follow on Instagram, so it makes sense to have it all in one place.
In addition to the convenience factor, Instagram just looks better making them more approachable to the viewer. They continuously update their sets of stickers, give stylish font options and continue to expand their color filters. Most recently, they’re bringing gifs back so that you can add those onto your images and videos as well. The tools they provide allow for more aesthetically pleasing and streamlined posts, which many people seem to love.
So, why does all of this matter? One, because if you’re on social media in any capacity it’s important to stay up to speed with all the latest updates but most importantly, because Instagram stories are another unique, creative way for you to build your brand online. You can think of them as a slideshow and use them to highlight the best moments of your practice that day, you can use them to announce contests, you can create polls and have your followers vote on something in real time, and you can even do a livestream. The possibilities are endless and because the user base for Instagram stories and Instagram in general only seems to keep growing, it’s a space you should certainly consider participating in.
If you’d like ideas on how to get started or how to use the Instagram stories feature, don’t hesitate to give our Sesame Social team a call!
—Michelle Hammond, Social Media Specialist, Sesame Communications