Will Instagram Stories Have a Happily Ever After

Ciara Macpherson - 08/08/2016 - 5 mins read - Social Technology

Now, this is a story all about how… Instagram stole Snapchat’s whole ‘thing’ but has (somewhat awkwardly) pulled it off that little bit better.

I had the same anger and confusion towards Instagram as everybody else when I heard what they’d done but then I picked up my phone, opened the newly updated app and dare I say it, was impressed. The features & layout are pretty much identical to that of Snapchat but they are sleeker & more simplified. Do you hear the screams of joy too?

Snapchat vs. Instagram Stories

Instagram’s interface is just easier on the eye… I’m loving the calligraphy-style pens!

The Snapchat Fear

Snapchat has forever been seen as the social app for teens & young millennials – “Teen Queen” Kylie Jenner is an avid user of the platform – which has probably made some people shy away from it. Aside from personal use, brands on a whole have also found Snapchat tricky. It is a difficult space to truly succeed in from a marketing point of view, because:

  • There are no analytics or reporting features.
  • It’s hard to build an audience.
  • Advertising options are limited and aren’t available to all.

Point blank: Snapchat hasn’t really encouraged brand usage. Is it maybe just more of a friend-to-friend platform?

The Instagram Embrace

Brands feel safe on Instagram. They can still put out cool, creative content, monitor their presence easily across multiple devices, set up sponsored posts and they probably already have an existing audience there. And now, brands can tap into the phenomenon of 24-hour only content that Snapchat pioneered, but made difficult for them to utilise.

It might just be me, but I’ve noticed that my Snapchat is that little bit quieter since Instagram Stories’ 2nd August launch whereas my Instagram is packed full with exciting new content - especially from brands!

Topshop has used it really nicely to showcase their latest fashions. A personal shopping experience via Instagram? Yes, please!

So, How Do You Use It?

Are you up for sharing your first 24-hour chapter? Here’s how to go about it:

  • Tap the plus sign in the top left corner of your screen.
  • Take your photo/video by either tapping the circle or keeping your finger on it for up to 10 secs.
  • You can upload something from your camera roll by swiping down on the screen. This includes Boomerangs and Hyperlapses!
  • With the doodle feature you can use three different pen types, add emojis using your keyboard or add a classic Instagram-style filter by swiping right.
  • Is your masterpiece complete? Tap the tick to add it to your Story.
  • Your Story will now appear at the top of all of your friends’ feeds. People can also check it out by tapping on your profile picture.
  • Check out who saw your story by swiping up when viewing the photo or video!

The (copy) Cat Who Got the Cream

So Instagram copied Snapchat. We all know that and Instagram have even owned up to it.

CEO Kevin Systrom (@kevin) said recently that Snapchat “deserve all the credit” but went on to drive home the idea that putting your own spin on an existing format isn’t a new thing:

“When you’re an innovator, that’s awesome. Just like Instagram deserves all the credit for bringing filters to the forefront. This isn’t about who invented something. This is about a format, and how you take it to a network and put your own spin on it.

Facebook invented feed, LinkedIn took on feed, Twitter took on feed, Instagram took on feed, and they all feel very different now and they serve very different purposes. But no one looks down at someone for adopting something that is so obviously great for presenting a certain type of information.”

Facebook once tried to buy Snapchat with a $3 billion offer back in 2012. Facebook bought Instagram instead, which has (in some ways) ‘become’ Snapchat. In theory, Facebook got what it wanted! Will Snapchat feel the hit of Instagram Stories and regret that decision to say no to Mark Zuckerberg’s offer?

You lot don’t seem to think so!

It’s Only the Beginning!

The story has only just begun for Instagram’s new functionality. Time will tell if this is the new place to be seen on social or not.

At the moment, Instagram Stories is missing Snapchat stickers, the addictive facial recognition for fun filters and Snapchat’s newest feature, Memories. However, remember that Instagram Stories is just out of the gates and in time, future updates could bring these similar add-ons to fruition.

The Main Draw for Marketers

Discoverability and reach. Instagram trumps Snapchat on these two very important factors. Instagram has double the amount of daily active users than Snapchat with an impressive engaged community of 300 million. It also has features such as searchable hashtags, geotags and the Discover section that Snapchat lacks, making content easier to stumble across.

You can post on Snapchat all you like but the content may just disappear into the ether if your target audience don’t know exactly what to search for. It’s all very secretive, which is why it perhaps is better as a personal platform. Will Snapchat let Instagram have the big brands? Whatever happens, it’s going to be an interesting battle between the two.

Are you interested in exploring Instagram Stories further? Get in touch with us at PSONA Social. We’ll be happy to ghostwrite your story with you...

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