In October 2013, Snapchat released a feature that would end up changing the way we use social media. Snapchat’s Stories - messages which are active for 24 hours - was a classic example of launching the right product at the wrong time. While it enjoyed a phenomenal growth in the USA and parts of Europe, the trend never caught up.
Three years down the line, Instagram in an attempt to widen its market and Daily Active Users (DAUs), introduced Instagram Stories. And, the social media world finally recognized the genius of the feature which was reintroduced to them at the right moment. Stories eventually caught up with all Facebook acquired platforms (Instagram, Messenger and WhatsApp) and made some new adopters on the way with Skype Highlights, YouTube Reels and Medium Series. If you’re into the creative industry, you would have noticed Behance’s own version of stories as well.
But it isn’t about the platforms which allow you to share stories. It is about how marketers have made use of this tool to generate more attention and reach. Snapchat, WhatsApp and Instagram stories combined have an audience pool of over 450 Million DAUs!
If you thought stories were only for fun, LinkedIn has started rolling out stories. Currently, LinkedIn Stories are being tested out in Australia, Brazil, France, the Netherlands, and the UAE.
One reason is that your content can be clubbed together. If you keep posting multiple content on your Facebook feed, it will never show up in a chronological manner. In the case of stories, however, your content is like a flipbook. It’s arranged in the same manner you wanted to portray that story as.
Stories suit our lifestyle and browsing habits more than any other service available these days. With our attention span getting lower, what better way to put out a message than a fully immersive view on a modern bezel-less display phone?
Another reason - due to the short shelf life, stories are more casual, fun and interactive to users. This allows a brand or an individual to weave a storyline to their offerings. Some brands have capitalized by making stories a medium to promote culture and behind the scenes insights.
The answer is an obvious no, unless someone finds out a way to make it work for an industry. Beauty, Fashion and E-commerce are heavy adopters of stories. Some E-commerce brands and sellers who sell on platforms like Etsy often use stories as a flash sale promotional medium.
But stories aren't just still images and videos. With the advancement of Augmented Reality, stories have been exploited beyond imagination. A recent and quite brilliant example would be OnePlus launching the OnePlus 8 with an AR Unboxing. It created a storm on Instagram, and the campaign turned out to be a hit, and OnePlus took it a notch higher to launch the OnePlus Nord this month in a full AR event!
Read - Future of Augmented Reality
While there is not denying the fact that social media stories are currently the ultimate thumb-stoppers. If the trend isn’t convincing enough, TikTok’s interface - which is heavily inspired by stories - should be a good enough proof that this concept is the future of online presence and marketing. Content marketing has taken a turn towards video and audio tech, and stories are currently the best way to enter this domain and capitalize on it - before they shut down organic reach there as well.
Read - What’s happening with TikTok