INSTAGRAM ANNOUNCES INSTAGRAM STORIES
August 2, 2016 — Instagram announced a new feature called Instagram Stories. Displayed in a slideshow format called ‘Your Story,’ Instagram Stories will allow users to share photos and videos – equipped with text and drawing tools – that will disappear after 24 hours. Sound familiar? That’s because this functionality is almost identical to Snapchat, and features the same elements that have made the mobile messaging app such a unique phenomenon over the last couple years.
Instagram Stories will be rolling out globally over the next few weeks on iOS and Android.
Initial reviews from the social media community have positioned Instagram Stories as a “Snapchat for adults,” meaning it will reach users who have not adopted Snapchat because they don’t identify with Gen Z’s core user base. With Instagram Stories, these users will now be able to utilize the very interactive features that have made Snapchat so unique, but do so within a much more accessible, mass scale platform environment.
WHAT MARKETERS NEED TO KNOW ABOUT INSTAGRAM STORIES
The first thing marketers should do is analyze short-term user adoption rates, user responses, and watch how brands and agency partners adapt social strategies to include Instagram Stories. With its (critically-declared) more friendly user interface and easy ability to find users, Stories might capture the non-millennial AND millennial crowd. Case studies and clear cut examples of successes and failures will trickle in fast and furiously over the next few months, so marketers should be paying close attention.
The other key element to consider is paid media. With Facebook having the most sophisticated paid social media infrastructure already in place and scaled to millions of advertisers, how will these new features be integrated and made available to be amplified with paid dollars? There will likely be an “organic learning curve” that Instagram will allow before jumping right into accommodating a paid integration, but at some point advertisers should anticipate the ability to incorporate these interactive features into their campaigns. It will be exciting to see what the possibilities are.