Twelve months ago a new product was launched, designed to give Snapchat’s Story product a run for its money. Backed by the whopping Facebook juggernaut, Instagram rolled out a new feature whereby users could post pictures and videos into their own daily collection, which would disappear after 24 hours. The name must have taken some time thinking up… Stories.
Since July 2016, Instagram hasn’t looked back, its Stories product now has 250 million users, claims the social media platform.
From stickers to Boomerang, Instagram has added over 20 new features to Instagram Stories, including live video and location tagging. The top locations, says Instagram, are Jakarta, Indonesia and São Paulo, Brazil. The platform has also utilised the powerful search potential of hashtags — some of the most popular being #goodmorning and #tbt.
Users have reportedly found Instagram Stories to be more flexible than Snapchat — and crucially, are able to share posts easier, using Facebook's ad publishing tools. The product has also been embraced by businesses and brands, with over 50% of businesses on Instagram producing an Instagram Story.
At Starstruck, we're constantly being asked about Instagram Stories and whether we can integrate it into campaigns involving branded content. We’ve had lots of fun utilising the product — from Brazil to Kenya, London to Singapore — using platform-native features, either as a collection or reportage of a particular day’s events. We’ve been at music concerts, motorsports events and product launches and we’ve had real success with Instagram Stories’ latest application, paid promotion, where we’ve garnered an impact not achievable on Snapchat.
All of this is not good news for the little white ghost. Latest social media audience figures show Instagram has over double the audience Snapchat commands. Advertisers have also reported Instagram's paid ad product, administered through the Facebook platform, is much easier to use. Insights and analytics are also clearer on Instagram and the approval process for ad content is smoother.
In the Instagram Stories vs. Snapchat battle, Instagram Stories seems to have the upper hand. But the ball is now firmly in Snapchat's court as it has launched a new ad management tool, which helps advertisers create Snap Ads in under two minutes, allow advertisers to manage key assets and test the ads as users see them. Snapchat hopes to attract back advertisers who may have gone cold since Instagram Stories' launch. The fight for eyeballs continues.
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