Instagram Stories: 3 Questions Answered

By now, you’ve surely noticed the Stories icons across the top of your Instagram app. Instagram Stories debuted at the beginning of August, and we’re already discussing the downfall of Snapchat. The idea is the same as Snapchat’s: short snippets of your day combined into a video that disappears after 24 hours, but what’s different about Stories, and what does it mean for you?

How Does It Work?

Whether you like it or not, the Stories feature was added to every Instagram feed at the beginning of August. The first time you opened your Instagram app after its debut, you may have noticed an optional tutorial at the top of your feed. The tutorial walks you through the quick and easy process of adding short snippets from your life to your Story.

Simply click on the “+” symbol beside the Instagram logo at the top of your feed, and add your video or picture. That’s it. You can add filters, text, or drawings and even save the videos or photos to your device. Add pictures or videos from your camera roll by swiping down once you’re in the camera mode of Stories.

To view the Stories of those you follow, click on their profile picture at the top of your feed, where all available Stories will appear.

Who Is It For?

Though the average individual loves to post pictures of outfits, animals, and dinners all over Instagram, the sheer size of this social media titan means it’s a key platform for brands. Instagram Stories is quickly becoming a convenient way for brands to showcase all that have to offer and turn their Story views into actionable data.

Instagram makes things easy for brands. Consumers can easily search for brand names with partial matches, and the app allows brands to pay for ads that target potential buyers. Take Nike for example, after the Stories debut, users elevated the video to over 800,000 views, compared to the same video’s 66,000 views on Snapchat. While Stories can appeal to all, this is a perfect marketing strategy for brands.

How Does It Compare to Snapchat?

The concept is a direct copycat of Snapchat: a stream of videos/photos you can draw on, that expire after 24 hours. The big difference comes in user experience. Instagram is more user-friendly, offering clearly labeled buttons and explanations of how to compose your story. It’s simple for users of all ages.

The icons for available stories even appear at the top of your feed, not on another screen you have to swipe to. You can easily add photos from your camera roll, and you can send stories from your favorite celeb or brand to friends to view, which are all things that are either impossible or significantly harder to do on Snapchat.

Does this mean the end of Snapchat? It’s too early to say, but probably not. No matter your preference, no one can deny the ease of use for Instagram Stories and the convenience of getting it all in one app.

Image via Flickr by Infomastern