On the 2nd August 2016, Instagram announced its latest features, ’Instagram Stories’. If you’re familiar with Snapchat, you may be thinking…’hang on, are Instagram just copying Snapchat?’instagram-1519537_1280

On Instagram, users are now able to share multiple photos and videos throughout the day that will disappear after 24 hours, with an option to add text and emojis.

Okay, this definitely sounds familiar.

Back in 2013, Mark Zuckerberg (owner of Facebook and Instagram) offered $3 billion dollars to buy Snapchat, only to be turned down. In response, it seems Zuckerberg has decided to compete against this growing social media platform.

Mark Zuckerberg announced the reason for the new feature, saying that Instagram stories are ‘the latest step in putting video at the center of all our services. People are already creating and sharing more video, so we’re going to make it even easier.”

How do you use Instagram stories?

If you have Instagram Stories already, you’ll see a row of stories from the people you follow above your feed. You simply need to tap a story to see someone’s clips from the last 24 hours. You can’t like posts like you can in Instagram but you can send someone a private reply.

If you wish to create your own Instagram story, simply tap the + in the top left corner. You can then upload videos or photos onto your story for 24 hours, adding your own drawings, emojis or text. While stories are visible for 24 hours, there is an option to hide stories from specific people e.g. family members or your boss! 

What does this mean for marketing?

Whether or not you believe ‘Instagram Stories’ is a blatant copy of Snapchat, this new feature shouldn’t be ignored. While it is still in the early stages, this new feature means that companies can now get a bit more playful and add a more personal touch to their content. Also, because photos and videos disappear after 24 hours, companies can potentially use Instagram Stories to test content before it is rolled out on other social accounts, and as Instagram lets you see who is watching, you can start to understand what content resonates with your target market.

Instagram stories will be rolling out globally over the next couple of weeks on both iOS and Android. Have you tried it out yet? What do you think? Tweet us at @FTGMarketing your thoughts.

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