Instagram Stories: Are people using this feature?
Friday, February 10, 2017
It's been six months since Instagram launched its newest feature: Instagram Stories. As a refresher, this was Instagram's response to Snapchat's success.
You can find Instagram Stories at the top of your feed. There, you click to reveal 10-second videos or pictures that disappear in 24 hours. You can even add text, doodles or stickers atop them. In short, yes, it functions almost exactly like Snapchat.
And Instagram Stories now has just as many users as Snapchat. As of January, 150 million users use Stories daily. That's 50 percent more users than Stories had back in October.
The growth of Instagram Stories is no doubt thanks to the size of the platform. As of December, Instagram had more than 600 million monthly active users. Because of the sheer number of Instagrammers, it is possible Instagram Stories will begin to outpace Snapchat's impressive growth rate over the next few months.
In the meantime, the engagement rates of Instagram Stories can stand on their own. 20 percent of Instagram Stories get a direct message from viewers. And, good news for your business, 33 percent of the most viewed Stories are from businesses, according to Instagram internal data.
Because of the nearly instant success of Instagram Stories, there have been a ton of new features added since the platform launched:
Say hello to ads. Right now, Instagram is testing Story ads with a select group of 30 companies, like Nike, Capital One and Buick. The ads will be immersive and fill the entire screen with pictures or 15-second videos. Check out this Airbnb ad to see how these will look in action. Instagram will be rolling this feature out to more companies "soon."
Analytics have arrived. You can see the reach, impressions, replies and exits for each of your business's Stories. To access, make sure you have a business profile. Here's how to set that up if you need to. Then, go to your profile, click the graph and voila, you'll find your analytics.
Go live! You can go live on Instagram Stories. Start a Story just like you normally would. Then, click "Live" to the left of "Normal" in the menu. Instagram will check your connection, give you a 3-second countdown, and then you're good to stream for up to an hour. As a bonus, your Story will be the first in the Stories bar.
Throw in a Boomerang. Also, you can create Boomerangs in Instagram Stories. The mesmerizing videos look like live-action flipbooks and often get great engagement rates. Plus, they're super easy to create. Give it a whirl!
Mention a friend. You can tag individuals or brands in your Story. To try, insert text, add an "@" symbol, type in a username and select the person you want to mention. Then, when users are watching, they can click to that user's profile. And if someone tags you in an Instagram Story, you'll get a notification.
Link to more. If you're a verified account, you can add links to your Story for more info. Once you have your image or video, simply click the link icon in the menu and add your URL. Easy-peasy.
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