It's now been just over 2 weeks since Instagram announced the release of their new feature Instagram Stories. We have been doing our research and testing it out, and so far, so good.
Since its initial launch in October 2010, Instagram has always been known as the platform to share the 'highlight reel' of your life (or the very best of your business). The photos uploaded are always the perfect snapshots, well-lit with fancy filters; it can sometimes feel like you're flicking through a glossy magazine as opposed to a photo sharing app!
Instagram Stories was designed for imperfect sharing, a place for you to share the bits of your day which aren't quite as polished as those that you would usually share on the standard app.
The app is very similar to Snapchat, with both apps allowing users to post photos and videos to a timeline that disappears in 24 hours with an array of fun add-ons such as adding text and emojis to pictures. Using this type of social media is very attractive for brands, it is a different kind of 'in the moment' social sharing, similar to live TV advertising which you don't find on any other social platforms.
Instagram currently has 300 million active users, whereas Snapchat has just half that at 150 million. Although Snapchat was definitely first to the party, Instagram has made it equally as easy for brands to share their human / fun side without clogging the feeds of their followers, as well as having a polished profile for other users to browse. Another benefit of the new feature is that it's built in to the Instagram app, meaning you don't have to start a new profile and build a new audience on a standalone app. You also don't need to be following a profile to view its stories (as long as it's a public profile), which can encourage and persuade new users to follow. Follower growth is also encouraged through the 'search and discover' functions, neither of which Snapchat has.
Instagram actively encourages users to cross promote their social media efforts with plug-ins to other social sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare etc., another helpful feature for brands that Snapchat doesn't have.
All in all – if your business hasn't considered Snapchat yet, then there may not be much point, as Instagram Stories offers everything that Snapchat does and so much more. What do you think? Let us know on our Instagram, and don't forget to give us a follow @boomerangcreative.
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