Everyone has their own opinion about Instagram recently implementing their new "Story" feature. Some say it's a rip-off, some are screaming for more filters, others are ignoring it and some are just uploading their downloaded 'snaps'. Here's my two cents:
It's a business move, and a smart one at that. Sure, it works nearly EXACTLY like Snapchat, but the user base of Instagram far outnumbers the user base of Snapchat. The most recent numbers I could find: last month Instagram had 300 million users on it's platform every day, compared to Snapchat's 100 million. Those are both highly impressive numbers, but clearly Instagram is still where people are setting up camp. So, grab some s'mores and get cozy.
I actually like the fact that this new Story feature seems to divide this one platform into two. I'm still seeing high quality images in my typical feed, but then I can choose to catch these quick, super authentic glances of the people I follow. I know lots of people are upset that they cannot feature themselves with a halo of flowers and a filter that makes the roughest night disappear directly on IG, BUT I personally could care less. I've felt the lure and see the fun, but I'm liking that Instagram has left that very specific to Snapchat (for now). I can see where some businesses/brands could harness those features and really run with it, while others, not so much.
Here's what I'd like to see more of on Instagram Stories and what I'm working with my businesses to implement and hold fast to. I really believe that this mode could be used with a bit more curation in mind. Not just a quick vomit of what's happening in your day, but a STORY. A story with a beginning, middle, and end. To do this, start with a quick sketch of an idea of what is important to your community or what behind the scenes scenarios do you want to show the world. Then plan it out. Authenticity doesn't need to mean rambling, and totally random. You can be real and have an idea of where you are going at the same time. Film it, or capture images that still have a great visual feel for your brand. Editing can be done, do it. Remember to keep it simple and sweet and on message.
I'm still deciding exactly what makes a business a better fit for each platform and for now I'm still on the fence about re-posting downloaded 'snaps'. I'm a big fan of giving each platform it's own personality and content, but these are so similar that I can see the appeal. I'm sure I'll develop a preference soon and regale you with my rant. Until then - give me all the Stories.