When Instagram launched the ‘Stories’ feature in 2016, the consensus was that it was unnecessary and a mere knock-off of Snapchat. Well, look at them now. After overtaking Snapchat, it’s been called Instagram’s ‘smartest move yet’, and other platforms were quick to take a page out of Instagram’s book. Facebook promptly launched Facebook Stories. Now it seems even YouTube and LinkedIn have followed suit.
Instagram tapped into the success of Stories by constantly developing new ways for brands to connect with consumers. In April and May 2019 alone, Instagram:
- Released the Quiz sticker and the , promoting interactivity in Stories and providing a more personal experience.
- Opened up the Poll Sticker feature to sponsored Story Ads as a way for consumers to give feedback more instantly.
The variety in the interactive functions drives up engagement and the ephemerality allows brands to experiment with different concepts without risk of tarnishing their image or direction. And companies, most notably Netflix and Spotify, both of which have collaborated with Instagram recently, have begun to increasingly utilise the stories feature.
But how do the YouTube and LinkedIn versions of Stories fair?
YouTube released ‘Reels’ in 2018, currently only available for creators with more than ten thousand subscribers. On Reels:
- Stories lasts for more than 24 hours, creators’ Stories are viewable for up to 7 days.
- Comments are public instead of private, unlike direct messaging on Instagram.
The implementation of Reels gives creators the opportunity to push out more unfiltered content to better connect with subscribers.
LinkedIn Student Voices
LinkedIn on the other hand, released ‘Student Voices’, targeting college students in hopes of improving its relevance with the younger demographic.
Student Voices has strayed the most from the hallmark of Stories, as videos posted:
- Remain on the campus playlist for a week, which can be viewed on the campus explore page.
- Remain on your profile rather than disappearing, viewable to all your profile viewers.
In this way, LinkedIn hopes to encourage more networking among college students and connect them with employers and plans to eventually extend this service to all users in the future.
Bonus update: Facebook has also been updating its Story function in an effort to retain users following the success of Instagram Stories. Facebook hopes to increase engagement, especially among the younger demographic, with familiar Story features such as direct sharing and replies, in addition to camera effects like filters, frames, and stickers.. The most recent update included an event sticker, which allows users to share events of interest in their Story and see the list of viewers who registered under the sticker.
It seems almost everyone is jumping on the Stories bandwagon, with respective objectives in mind. Instagram Stories revived the popularity of the ephemeral video feature, and we’re excited to see more platforms and brands ride the wave, prompting more development and innovation.