• Instagram storie

Instagram unveil new feature, and it’s a familiar Story.

09 August 2016

It’s the same Story, just with an older, slightly more A-list narrator.

Instagram unveiled their new Stories feature last Tuesday, allowing users to create 10 second video highlights in a packaged series, along with added text, pictures and doodles on each video – all of which disappears after 24 hours.

Sounds familiar, doesn’t it?

The similarities between Instagram’s Stories and Snapchat are striking, not least thanks to them having the exact same name.

The move is almost as brazen as the lookalike brands you see in discount supermarkets and stores.

‘No, no, it’s ‘shtories’, you see, completely different prospect. No, can’t say I see the comparison…’

If anyone can pull off such a daring move, it’s Instagram owners Facebook.

However, many brands couldn’t care less about the blatant imitation, and are simply revelling in the fact that they can deliver cutting edge Snapchat-esque videos to a wider audience already established on Instagram.

Nike managed 800,000 views in the first 24 hours of the Story feature launching, using the Michael Jordan brand’s Jumpman23 account to unveil a new American football jersey.

This is one big confident tick in the ‘pros’ column for brands using Instagram.

After all, more people are on this platform, plain and simple.

No need for clever new posts encouraging an audience across to another app, giving the full feature pitch to your audience that are already settled into the foodie, fashion and pet-selfie world of Instagram.

You’ve got all you need right here, meaning no more hassle of setting up a new account to get those disappearing vertical videos with lots of doodles over it.

All the hallmarks of the modern culture of content consumption on social.

The smart brands are the ones who are in sync with this culture and have brought that in to the new Stories feature.

Nike capitalised on Instagram Stories with a behind the scenes video unveiling a new American football kit, capturing the audience’s hunger for a more authentic, ‘real’ tone this format provides.


The other big difference that might help the imitator overtake the creator is the interaction between brand and audience.

While Instagram’s Stories follows the Snapchat trend in that there is no direct way to like or comment pieces of content, Instagrammers can simply go to the more public part of the brand and comment there.

As Dan Grossman, vice president of platform partnerships at VaynerMedia, put it when talking to Ad Age: “Instagram is a follower platform, where Snapchat is more of a best friend platform."

This seemingly small difference hints at a much bigger shift in priorities and philosophies for the two platforms – Snapchat moving away from its roots of disappearing, ephemeral content to become almost a digital magazine provider, and Instagram stepping into Snapchat’s shoes.

Facebook’s recent purchase of face-editing lens app Masquerade means further transformation into a Snapchat alter-ego could be on the cards.

Whatever the future for Instagram stories, let’s be thankful for the opportunity to a second go at doing a hip, disappearing Snapchat story arc. Second chances don’t come around often.


Strawman Says

It’s Snapchat for a bigger audience, which is good news for those brands with the established audiences already in place. Although next time a social platform ‘borrows’ from a rival, at least change the name, guys.