What are Instagram Stories & How to use for your business?

Instagram Stories for Business Usage… Snapchat is the disappearing content pioneer, yet Instagram is not planning to lag behind the hottest social media trends.

Created on August 2, 2016, Stories is Instagram’s answer to Snapchat. Since its debut, Instagram added a host of new features to strengthen its offering.

And the other companies are paying attention.

What are Instagram Stories?

Instagram Stories is a disappearing photo and video sharing application part, allowing users to share photos and videos in a presentation format.

In posting the Stories launch, Instagram explained, “Instagram has always been a place to share the moments you want to remember. Now you can share highlights and in-between moments too.

With content disappearing 24 hours and not appear on your main profile, Instagram Stories is the answer to Snapchat.

Asked about the similarities between the two apps, Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom told TechCrunch, “They deserve all the credit.”

He continued: “When you are an innovator, it is fabulous. Just as Instagram deserves all the credit for being on the cutting edge with filters. This is not about who invented what. This is about a format and how you use it on a network and make your own interpretation of it”.

One critical element that makes Instagram Stories different from its rival Snapchat is the way it discovers content.

Viewing posts from Stories from the accounts you follow on the app is straightforward. And finding new accounts is easy thanks to existing search tools.

Also, Instagram makes it easy to participate in the best content of the accounts you follow by displaying Stories using algorithms. The application’s algorithm decides the order in which stories appear in the top bar of user news, in which users interact with their Instagram and Facebook content.

Why should you use Instagram Stories in your business?

Stories were released in August 2016, and they made a significant impression on Instagram users. In less than six months, the feature had 150 million daily active users. It took Snapchat six years to hit those same numbers.

But people don’t just use Instagram Stories to connect with their friends. A third of the most visited Stories are from companies.

The platform also prides itself on its impressive numbers at the participation level. One in five Instagram Stories has a direct message from its visitors. Approximately 70 % activate the videos’ sound, a clear difference from the predominance of silence in the videos on platforms like Facebook.

Independent of the perfectly organized user profiles, this application was created as a space to share more organic content in real-time. Stories go beyond the standard filter options, but there are filters too, including options for text, drawing, stickers, Stylish fonts, and other features to encourage creativity. 

Of course, these impressive numbers are in large part, thanks to the sheer popularity of Instagram. The app has 600 million users sharing an average of 95 million photos and videos and liking 4.2 billion posts every day.

But the rise of Instagram Stories did not happen in isolation. From August to November 2016, the average number of unique views per Snapchat Story decreased by about 40 percent, according to Delmondo creative studio CEO Nick Cicero. TechCrunch also reported other declines in views and engagement on Snapchat.

Regardless of whether you choose Snapchat or Instagram Stories, or consider adding the new feature to your social media list, the bottom line is: with nearly 50 % of brands using Instagram and many of them making the switch to Stories; we asked ourselves: can your brand afford to wait?

Advertisements in Stories.

Instagram is also testing the ability to have full-screen ads in Stories. Ads will offer targeting, reach, and measurement features.

Also known as “mid-roll,” ads play in the middle of Stories but do not interrupt individual Stories. According to Adage, video ads play for 15 seconds and sponsored photos for 5 seconds.

Although the ads are still on trial with certain brands, it means that advertisers will have the ability to reach a highly targeted audience supported by Instagram and Facebook data on a highly immersive platform.