On August 2, Instagram introduced their newest feature, Stories. Stories allow you to post a more personal photo or video (you can even draw on the image) that is available to the viewer for 24 hours. After that time, the videos and images disappear and do not become part of your regular Instagram timeline. Sound familiar? Although this feature is nearly identical to Snapchat’s Stories, the Instagram version may be a better way for your business to engage customers.
- Breaking into Snapchat has proven to be difficult for businesses. Unless you have one of the coveted “Discover” spots on Snapchat, it has been exceedingly difficult for businesses and celebrities alike to gain traction. With a following already built up on Instagram, you can have the ability to give followers an “inside look” without converting them to a new platform.
- Instagram has twice as many daily users than Snapchat. Instagram recently announced that the company broke 500 million users, 300 million of which use the app daily. While Snapchat trumps Twitter with daily users, they still number only 150 million. Instagram Stories has greater potential reach to more diverse consumers.
- Using Instagram Stories prevents over-posting. There is a fine line between posting too much and posting too little on social media; too much of either can result in a loss of followers. With Stories, you can post as much as you’d like, and the user can opt out at any point without losing them as a regular Instagram follower.
- Instagram Stories are not private. Unlike Snapchat Stories, a user does not need to follow your company page to view your Instagram Story (unless your Instagram account is set to private). This gives your business a greater chance for your Story to attract new followers. When a user visits an Instagram page that has a Story, a multicolor ring pops up around the profile picture. This is an opportunity for the user to view the Story. If the Story is engaging enough, it may result in a new follower for your business.
Although there are a multitude of memes saying Instagram Stories will bring death to Snapchat, companies should not give up trying to attract new followers to it. Both Instagram and Snapchat appeal to younger demographics like Millennials and Generation Z, two key targets for many businesses.