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Instagram snaps up new ‘Stories’ feature

Amy Grinstead

Amy Grinstead

Senior Account Manager

Published Wednesday 3rd August 2016

Instagram Stories
Influence and PR + Social media and digital marketing

Instagram’s introduction of its latest feature ‘Instagram Stories’ enables users of the Facebook-owned photo sharing app to post transitory photos on a secondary feed, available for 24 hours from the time of posting.

Strikingly similar in its premise to Snapchat’s popular format that bears the same name, ‘Instagram Stories’ replicates features such as allowing users to annotate their images with text, doodles and emojis as well as monitor who is viewing each story.

With video and photo sharing now at the forefront of social interaction, visibility of brands on such platforms will prove a valuable marketing technique, suited specifically to brands that are able to market themselves best both visually and creatively.

With over 90% of the community of 500 million active Instagram users being aged 35 and under, success will also correlate with brands that are able to appeal to the interests of the smartphone generation who are often glued to their devices. This means the companies who are most likely to benefit from this are most commonly within the lifestyle and consumer sectors, such as health and fitness, beauty, fashion and food and drink.

The benefits of Instagram in enhancing brand awareness speak for themselves with 90% of the 100 top brands in the world in possession of an Instagram account.

The introduction of Instagram Stories will allow brands to upload more marketing content without being seen to spam its followers, perhaps even utilising the 24-hour visibility to its advantage and unveiling exclusive deals only available within the time frame.

The video feature will also allow Instagram to introduce video advertising for businesses to showcase their latest campaigns as well as emulating the success of Snapchat by introducing additional marketing features such as sponsored lenses or Geofilters. As Snapchat reportedly charges brands $750,000 a day for ads there is argument this is too expensive, so it’s possible Instagram could choose to offer similar marketing content for a lower fee to drive interest towards the platform.

What also positions Instagram ahead of Snapchat in terms of marketing visibility is the use of common hashtags to draw in a greater interest from a larger outreach of users. It is no surprise then, that over 70% of Instagram’s most used hashtags are already branded.

If the integration of the Instagram Stories feed alongside an existent permanent photo feed proves a winning formula, users of both apps may be encouraged to transfer their interests entirely to Instagram. If this is the case, Instagram will see an even greater amount of usage and new users in the next few months, making marketing on the app a very exciting concept to be a part of.

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