Instagram today, August 2 released Instagram Stories, according to published reports. This could be seen as a genius way to integrate the best of Snapchat – or just a blatant rip-off. For small business owners already juggling multiple social media platforms, being able to integrate the best of Snapchat with Instagram, already a popular and widely used platform, may streamline social media marketing.
What are Instagram Stories?
According to the Instagram blog, Instagram Stories lets users put together slideshows of their days. These slideshows disappear after 24 hours and don’t appear in profile grids or feeds.
To access Stories, there’s a bar at the top of users’ Instagram feeds. When there’s something new, the profile photo displays a colorful ring around it. Stories follow the privacy settings of the user’s Instagram account.
How do I use Stories?
Instagram is in the process of rolling out Stories to its app on iOS and Android. To use Instagram Stories, make sure your app is updated to the latest version. Next, create a Story using the plus sign at the top left of your screen. Unlike with Snapchat, it’s easy to use photos and videos that are already on your smartphone.
You can also decorate your photo with text or doodle on it. Then, you click “Done” and can add it to your Story. You can also check to see who is viewing your Story by opening it and swiping up on the screen, much like in Snapchat.
Why use Stories?
“Great, another social media platform to master,” SMB owners may be groaning. It makes sense, though: there’s a lot of time invested in platforms like Meerkat or Periscope, only to see those die off. And Instagram doesn’t have the best track record with Snapchat-like features; a “Poke” feature, like Snapchat because the pictures disappeared after 24 hours, quietly disappeared.
Businesses that aren’t already using Snapchat may want to consider jumping on the Stories bandwagon, however. If you’re already on Instagram, you have nothing to lose.