Instagram Stories – everything you need to know

If you’re an Instagram and a Snapchat user you may be witnessing a little déjà vu as the new ‘Instagram Stories’ update landed in the app today (August 3, 2016).

How it works

The new ‘Instagram Stories’ update allows users to share moments of their day through quick snapshots and short video clips, which followers can view. They appear in a slideshow format and are navigated by tapping to be shown the next photo or swiping to skip and proceed to the next user’s story.

These will not be added to your profile and all stories will disappear after 24 hours. Creative tools have also been introduced including filters, emoticons and coloured drawing features.

If you’ve not seen them yet, try turning your phone off and on again.

The reaction

You might think; “hang on a minute, this sounds very familiar”. Well you’re not alone. The similarities of Instagram Stories and Snapchat – which has been doing the rounds since 2011 – are almost identical, apart from the groovy glow around the text on Instagram. (Woo!)

Twitter became a courtroom when the update went live as the debate thrives about the biggest plagiarism of the year, with memes even comparing to the recent Trump, Obama copying fiasco.

The outburst has resulted in the CEO of Instagram releasing a statement. He admits that credit should go to Snapchat for the copied idea but justifies Instagram’s new update by explaining: “You can’t just recreate another product. But you can say ‘what’s really awesome about a format? And does it apply to our network?’”

And I guess he’s right. Facebook invented the feed and now look, we have feeds all over our social channels. Maybe Stories are just the next phase.

How can this help branded content?

  • Instagram stories will allow brands to experiment with their content, presenting the opportunity to be more playful and try out new things – something they may have not dared to do before.
  • Brands will be able to talk to and capture younger audiences – reaching out to new groups
  • Because of it’s short lifespan the branded content can create a sense of urgency – giving users 24 hours to respond to a competition or offer, for example.

While you’ll still have your Instagram profile full of those beautifully edited pictures, you can now inject fun and invention – something the prime Instagram audience really really thrives on.


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