Instagram recently released a feature that rivals everyone’s favorite whimsical communication app: Snapchat. This new feature, officially called Instagram Stories, is the solution we didn’t know we needed. It solves the problem we all face in wanting to share our every move, meal and social interaction, but not wanting to over post to our feed and risk the loss of followers. That’s usually where Snapchat came in, until now.
How does it work?
Similar to Snapchat, Instagram users can now post pictures and videos to their “story” by pressing a button in the upper left-hand corner of the app. This button then takes you to a very simple camera which allows you to take pictures and videos by pressing on the circle button in the bottom center of the screen (exactly like Snapchat’s interface). Once you’ve captured the perfect selfie or photographed that Insta-worthy meal you ordered for dinner (but can’t bring yourself to post to your main page) you can choose to add text and draw with three different pens in a multitude of colors. You can then post to your story via the check mark at the bottom of the screen. Instagram also allows you to add pictures from your camera roll and content from its affiliated apps – Boomerang and Hyperlapse – to your story. This post will remain on the very top of the Instagram feed for all of your followers to view for the next 24 hours before it finally disappears. If you decide that 24 hours just wasn’t enough to showcase your post, you can choose to add it to your profile grid.
How can we use it?
This new update for Instagram presents us with an exciting opportunity. The candid yet exclusive feel that Snapchat provides for its users has always been enticing for content placement, but undoubtedly risky due to the fact that its effectiveness could not be easily measured. Now that Instagram is providing this same experience, we can use it to our advantage. Our clients can tap into their existing Instagram fan base to share behind the scenes content, or influencers can use and review products in real time for their followers to view. Access to Instagram’s analytics will allow us to view the reach and impact this content will have and in the future we’ll likely be able to put paid media behind our stories to share our content with a broader audience. Lastly, discovering brands and influencer accounts is significantly easier on Instagram as opposed to Snapchat, ensuring our brands will have a constant stream of new viewers to their content without the hassle of launching a new channel.
We’re excited for the future possibilities of working with this feature, and will continue to keep an eye on any updates.