Instagram Stories are a way to provide users with a place to temporarily share posts at a higher frequency. While Instagram photos are typically reserved for perfectly composed shots, Stories captures allow you to share the little moments that may not be as “picture-perfect”. This feature also allows users to add text, icons, music, and other designs onto their photo in their Story. This is also a good space to conduct contests, have polls or quizzes, and even share photos or reels on the feed.
Instagram Stories featured as a solution to over-posting. These Stories live in a separate space, and you can post as frequently as you want without worrying about over saturating your followers feed or filling the grid on your profile page.
Instagram Stories VS. Snapchat Stories
If you weren’t aware, this feature is very similar to what was introduced on Snapchat in 2013. Instagram stories are a direct Snapchat competitor and weren’t introduced until fall 2016. Similarities between the two include photo/video functionality, a 24-hour window before the content disappears, basic filters, and the doodle tool.
Instagram Stories does have one big advantage over Snapchat: As part of the larger Facebook/Instagram umbrella, they have less of a hurdle to jump in regards to adoption. Snapchat’s 150 million daily active users look like chump change compared to Instagram’s 300 million. Snapchat has much more ground to cover, while Instagram already has a captive audience.
What To Know About Instagram Stories
If you have an active audience base on Instagram, you should jump on Stories quickly. You have the opportunity to create ephemeral, lighthearted, Snapchat-like content without the challenge of building up a Snapchat audience or launching a new channel.
In addition to the built-in audience, you also have the opportunity for increased discoverability. The content you produce on Snapchat needs to be promoted regularly across other channels or else no one will see it. On Instagram, there are hashtags, geotags, and the Discover section to increase your chances of being found. Snapchat content can disappear into the void unless someone knows exactly what to look for.
If you’ve wanted to experiment with Snapchat-style content without making the leap, this is your chance.
Stories is part of a larger shift we’re seeing towards ephemeral content — a format that Snapchat has seen a ton of success with thus far. Now, rather than painstakingly adjusting the colors and shadow on each picture, Instagram users have the opportunity to embrace and create content that’s transient. As a result, the stakes aren’t as high — especially considering Stories can’t even be “Liked.”
Between the lack of public feedback and the time limitations, Instagram Stories take the pressure out of sharing content on the platform. So regardless of which platform ends up leading the pack, the popularity of ephemeral content won’t be slowing down anytime soon.
IG Stories Analytics
If your account is a professional or business account, you can access Instagram analytics. Your profile analytics and Stories analytics are different, but both contain important data that can help you create more of the content your followers love.
You can access your IG stories analytics by tapping the “seen by” icon on the lower-left corner of your story post. From your analytics, you will see:
- How many Instagrammers your Story has reached
- How people interacted with your Story (i.e., tap next, finish the story, go back, tap a sticker, exit)
- How many Instagram Story views you received
- How many people followed you after viewing that Story
You can find out which pieces of content are the most engaging based on Instagram’s Story analytics.
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