Instagram opens up new opportunities with Stories

Following the recent launch of Stories, Instagram has positioned itself in direct competition with Snapchat.

Stories are made up of editable photos or video clips (up to 10 seconds each) which disappear after 24 hours. Kevin Systrom, the CEO of Instagram, admitted in a recent interview with TechCrunch that the format and idea of Stories was poached from Snapchat (source). This is undoubtedly due to its popularity among a millennial audience who have a relentless hunger for fun, fresh content.

 

Brands who were considering a leap to Snapchat are now able to share less-polished, behind the scenes content with their existing Instagram followers. You could almost hear the sigh of relief from those social media managers who knew the long road ahead in building their Snapchat following.

 

Instagram has a bigger reach 

With over 500 million monthly active users – a whopping 300 million of which utilise Instagram everyday – Instagram overshadows Snapchat whose daily users pale in comparison at 150 million.

 

Instagram has a wider audience 

Instagram’s user demographic is broader than Snapchats – 55% of all Instagram users in the U.S. are aged 18-29, whilst 28% of users are 30-49 years old, and 11% of users are aged 50-64 (source). Snapchat, in comparison is a huge hit with teens and young adults with a whopping 85% of monthly users in the U.S. aged between 13 and 34 – the 13 to 17 year old bracket making up 23% of this figure (source).

 

Brands are easier to find on Instagram

The main search bar, suggested hashtags and geotags significantly help to amplify brand discoverability and reach, meaning more people are likely to come across your feed and your story – unlike Snapchat, you don’t have to be following someone to see their story.

 

Get creative with new content possibilities

Instagram users are renowned for featuring only the most polished and beautiful content on their feed. The introduction of Stories has opened up possibilities to feature events, provide product sneak peeks, conduct interviews and go behind the scenes through the 'almost live' photos and video.

 

Stories is a great addition and we're excited to see how Instagram continues to develop this year. However, now advertising has been opened up to all, how many ads will start flooding into our feeds? Will engagement continue to drop as they play with the new feed algorithm? Keep your eye on Instagram this year folks, times they are a changin'!