Instagram Stories: 5 Implications for Brands

OgilvyOne social selling

Instagram has launched Stories: a Snapchat-style stream of content that disappears within 24 hours and is not recorded on your picture-perfect newsfeed.

Here’s 5 things you need to know about Instagram Stories:

1) People want to share real moments, not perfect moments. Snapchat became popular largely due to the backlash against pretty, perfect ‘Kodak moments’. Instagram’s Stories update follows the same consumer trend. Brands that understand the evolution of social media expectations will be seen as more on point than those who still focus on perfect Kodak moments. Taking us to point number two…

2) Brands must embrace raw, in-the-moment content. Snapchat started the ephemeral, unedited style of content. Many brands ignored it because Snapchat was ‘just for teens‘, and brands could distribute their perfect content on other social media. Brands can no longer ignore this trend. Perfectly polished content is not the only option for social media. It’s ok to be a little less filtered (literally!). Pro tip: Influencer partnerships can be a great first step into creating this style of raw, ‘gritty’ content.

3) Brands have new advertising options. There are plans to bring advertising and business opportunities to Instagram Stories. No details yet on specific ad formats, costs etc. If you’re a brand with a big budget (lucky you) I recommend chatting to your Instagram/Facebook rep about being part of the early roll-out for these new ad products.

4) Social media platforms (continue to) become less differentiated. A month ago, Snapchat morphed into Instagram when they enabled users to upload older (or edited) content to Snapchat. Now Instagram morphs into Snapchat. In another corner Twitter is constantly evolving to be more like Facebook. Facebook is taking inspiration from WeChat. And the cycle continues!

5) You need to update your Instagram app: the Stories update is part of Instagram 9.0, currently available in Apple’s App Store and rolling out to Google Play in a few weeks. Check out Instagram’s official blog post for more details on how Stories works.

What other implications do you see?

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