With the recent spike in the global popularity of Snapchat and now the arrival of similar platform Instagram Stories, is the future of social media becoming even more immediate? It seems that we are no longer content with just sharing the highlights of our day (whether that be a delicious coffee or a selfie with the dog); we now must show everyone everything that happens in-between those moments. But that's not necessarily a bad thing, not by a long shot.
Using your existing Instagram account, you can now “share as much as you want”, according to the app’s recent press release. Historically, a golden rule of the image-sharing site was to stick to a maximum of one to three posts per day. Flying in the face of its own etiquette, Instagram Stories brings the opportunity “to never again worry about over posting”. This is great news if you like to keep a consistent theme to your gallery, whilst temporarily sharing the less polished bits of your life.
Similar to the already established and highly popular Snapchat Stories, these snippets will disappear from your feed after 24 hours. Although the editing features are very limited compared to the regular image uploader, Stories still allows you to select one of six filters when fine-tuning your photo. Users can also get creative with the built-in drawing tool, as well as adding text and emojis.
Already a huge hit amongst snap-happy Millennials, Instagram has also paid attention to the growing trend of Generation Z, who are known to delete photos with the least engagement. The feature is also set to be popular amongst the older generation, many of whom have claimed that they can’t get their head around the pre-existing Snapchat app. Having said that, we definitely know of one Grandma who thoroughly enjoyed face swapping!
Because many users over 35 are more familiar with Instagram than Snapchat, they are likely to make use of the new Stories feature. The feature means that they can share more of their day, without the added hassle of learning a new form of technology or setting up an additional account. Furthermore, the new feature gives a huge advantage to businesses looking for a creative and more personal form of marketing. Smaller companies especially are able to utilise the service to show exclusive behind the scenes footage of their services and culture in order to advertise on a more organic and direct basis. As for the main feed, brands can save this for the images that they believe deserve greater permanency. What’s more, because the feature is built into the existing app, companies can now instantaneously reach their followers, without having to build an audience on a brand new platform.
We think that the new addition is brilliant, and have come up with some fun ways that businesses might like to use it. For brick and mortar companies, why not upload a snap of your hardworking team, or even a sneak peek shot of production and packaging? Meanwhile, e-commerce sites can present a flash sale code via the app, meaning it would be exclusive to those who follow and only available for 24 hours. And of course, if you’re out networking or attending an exciting event, share the fun with your Instagram audience!
Have you used the new Instagram Stories feature? If so, show us how by following us on Instagram so that we can see your snaps!