Instagram just recently released a new feature: Stories.
This is a not so hidden strike to try and keep its users from SnapChat. Stories are a 24-hour photo or video series that lives outside of the main feed and instead lives on a feed at the top of your InstagramÂ channel. This looks like multiple circles at the top of your instagram.Â These circles will be circled by a gradient if you have not watched them and will not if you have already watched it.
These stories can be made up of verticle video or pictures with text or drawing that you put on through the app. Most people are using the story function to generate the content but you can insert content you have taken else where by swiping down to reveal a menu to upload photos or video.
Once you have an image or video, you can swipe from the right to add a filter or use the text/drawing tools in the upper right-hand corner to add details.
After posting a story you can swipe up on it to see who has viewed it. This is only available while the story is live, when 24 hours have passed, it will disappearÂ into the digital abyss. But you can alsoÂ download the content if you want to save it for archival use.
Advantages for marketers:
Top priority: Becuase it shows up at the top of the feed, even if your last post has been buried by other accounts, there is a good chance you will be seen.
Creativity: Becuase of the short shelf life of content, you will need to be more creative with your content so that you can produce more. The drawing and text tools will also allow for more flexibility.
Information: This will allow you to collect some analytics on who watched what, including specific users. More data is almost always helpful for marketers.
Disappears: Having a story disappear can be disappointing when you spend so much time building content. But this is part of our short attention span culture. You may be able to counteract this by saving some content and reusing it.
Soon to be crowded: Though not very trafficked now, this real estate will likely become more and more traffickedÂ in the days to come. It will be interesting to show how advertising works, which I am sure will be sooner or later.