← Back to Robert’s posts

Instagram Stories – It’s Not About Stealing, It’s About Adapting

Social Media
Social Media

Michael Jordan was great at basketball at his time. Then Kobe Bryant took Jordan’s place, but at his own time. Now we have guys like Durant, Curry or LeBron who are going for the first place, but at their own time.

We can’t say anymore that Jordan is the best NBA player in 2016, because times changed, people changed and the game changed. There is a new wave of players, and the fans want to see more action, more talent and show.

What I really want to say is that the best player was the best at his own time.

When Instagram launched, there were a few “players” who embraced the app and started using it. And then Facebook bought the app and gave them the power and opportunity to grow and start having a business driven behavior. Then comes Snapchat who was a chat app, then they developed with Stories, Discover and now Moments. And 2016 was crazy about Snapchat, but they didn’t ignore Instagram.

But few days ago, Instagram launched a feature called “Instagram Stories” where they are using the so-known style that Snapchat has. Some may say that is a copy-cat and some may say that is the new thing that Instagram needed.

I believe that Instagram had this feature in their mind when they started redesigning their logo and their interface.

Just think about that, when they re-branded they had a statement that Instagram isn’t anymore an app where you edit photos and upload it. They are a visual social network where you upload all the visual memories and experiences you have in your life. Even if we talk about very well designed photos, great video capture or now, stories.

Instagram is a visual social network, and now with Stories, they have the power to be the best visual story social network on mobile!

Instagram have the power to be the best visual story social network on mobile!

After I used several days the Instagram stories, here are my thoughts about the app:


1. The creatives behind the scene

I saw many great Instagram storytellers that started using Stories and shared their behind the scene photos and videos. I saw Instagrammers that are “snap-ing” (funny how Snapchat already branded this kind of content) their morning routine, how they pack to go on the mountain, what they are doing on a mountain and how they chill while they are waiting the perfect sunset to take a picture of it.

It’s a great tool to share with your community how a creative is living, what is he doing and how is he creating his great photos or videos. More than that, the creative can inspire very easily his community by showing them how to do’s and best practices.

It’s a great way to build your business with ”behind the scene” moments.

2. Higher Attention Rate

I don’t know if Instagram saw a lower attention rate but with the new feature, they are making you give more attention on the community.

Now you have 4 places to look at the Instagram community: Instagram Stories, Feed, Explore and who’s following who. The most interesting thing is that every one of these places/tabs are having their own anatomy and they are communicating a special moment from an user behavior.

With Stories, Instagram will increase their attention rate!

Why am I saying this? Because I looked at my behavior and I found out that I’m using much more Instagram than before. Because I have these 4 ways of connecting with others through their visual stories.

3. Embrace the Direct Message

Did you know that you can chat privately on Instagram? You can talk privately with your community with the Direct Message feature on Instagram. You don’t have to talk to them via comments or send them to Facebook or E-mail.

And with the new feature, Instagram will increase their Direct Message feature. But they should make the chat more appealing with a few more features (think about what Facebook has in their own Facebook Messenger and Snapchat in their chat). They better stay away from the Twitter DM behavior.

After I used Instagram Stories, I saw that I talked more often on Direct Message on Instagram then before. People interacted with me easier. And this is gold for who is having ten thousands followers. Also, I talked with a few Instagram employees about the new feature!

4. It’s working great with Hyperlapse and Boomerang

Even if the UI is great and is very intuitive (things that every app is launching today should focus more on) I didn’t know how to use the content create with Boomerang and Hyperlapse (2 of the products that Instagram launched a few months ago). But after I talked to one of the Instagram employees, he told me how to do it, and it’s very easy.

Ben Fitch, from the Instagram Community Team, told me how to do it:

You can shot a Boomerang or Hyperlapse in the respective app, and then pull them into the story from your camera roll! Just tap the ”create a new story” and then click at the top of your camera view and you’ll see your most recent pictures pop-up!

5. Interact more with the fans

The first brand that popped up in my eyes on how they used Instagram Stories was Red Bull (of course). They asked the community to tell them which photo should they use next in their Instagram Album. You could message with a thumbs up emoji and the most voted photo was selected to be published.

Now think about the opportunity you have as a brand with the Instagram Stories. You can see how many people will interact with you and how many of them can be converted in buyers or active users.

And these are only my 5 ideas when I think about Instagram Stories.

But let’s not go over there and kill other apps, like Snapchat. Each of these apps has it’s own community and every community is using the app because they saw there something interesting and something for their needs and interest.

I don’t believe that Instagram will kill Snapchat.

Even if Instagram is bigger than Snapchat with their users, even if Instagram has it’s back with the big blue (Facebook) and even if Instagram will give more information for the business profiles, I still believe that there is enough space for the bothapps.

Instagram and Snapchat are the King and Queen of Attention.

Here we will see the power of community, but more than that, it’s a game about attention and innovation. And today innovation is not only creating something new, it’s about adapting to the context and time to give a valuable tool for your community.

What are your thoughts on Instagram Stories? Will you use it daily or weekly?

Your turn to comment:

A picture of the post's author

Robert Katai

Brand and Communication Manager

"Content isn’t king. Usefulness is. Robert does this in the online marketing and social media space with ease."

Ram Castillo