Instagram Stories and Why It is Big News for Online Business Owners
In August 2016, Instagram introduced Instagram Stories. It’s also one of the biggest game-changers for the platform and very much a product of its time.
Essentially, Instagram Stories allows users to add images and videos for their followers to see and that will disappear after 24 hours. These images don’t appear on the user’s profile grid on the feed and also allow for the inclusion of Live Video – which are Live Streamed videos that can last for up to one hour. Live video uses the same interface as the stories option but will self-destruct instantly once they’re over.
Instagram Stories has a lot of potential for marketers and has many unique benefits outside of the main features of Instagram. The first reason for this is that Instagram Stories appear in a different place to the other content on Instagram. These appear in small circles along the top of a feed, thereby drawing a lot more attention to themselves and at the same time increasing engagement.
The other reason that Instagram Stories are so successful and one of the reasons they are so much a product of their time, is that they can be likened to various forms of live content.
Right now, live content is all the rage. This was a big deal in 2015 and 2016 with the likes of Periscope and Meerkat. These were two massive ‘live streaming’ apps that enabled users to broadcast videos live to a global audience.
These videos could be recorded and would then remain on the channel for a while for those who missed them. But the most exciting part of these platforms is being able to look at the world map (in Periscope at least) and tune in to all the people broadcasting live from anywhere in the world. You can see behind-the-scenes from live News broadcasts, you can see people vlogging from their kitchens over their morning cup of coffee and you can see people working out live.
Live video has a much more intimate and immediate effect and it allows creators to interact directly with their audience. Most live video solutions allow for some form of commenting and this means that the broadcaster can then respond live to the audience.
Imagine the benefit as a product manufacturer of being able to demo your product live on air and then answer questions about it in real time.
Imagine the power of being able to chat with your fans live and let them feel like they’re coming with you as you carry out your daily chores! Imagine how much more engaged they would be and how this could help to turn them into even bigger fans!
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