Instagram Stories - What We Know After Week One

Last week, Instagram introduced Instagram Stories, a new feature within the social media network to rival the yellow ghost.

Appearing together in a slideshow format, the feature allows you to share as many media items as you want, without clogging up yours and your friend’s newsfeed, named ‘your story’.

The already creative app allows you to take your artistic ways beyond that of a filter, with its drawing and text tool you can add thought bubbles, captions and icons.

Instagram stories appear at the top of your newsfeed, but can also be accessed by tapping profile photos, it all feels very slick and almost as if the feature has been there the whole time.

So who can see your story? Your story will mirror the privacy setting of your Instagram account, if you set your account to private, your story is only visible to followers. But, if your account isn’t private then be aware anyone can watch your story.

So what does this mean for brands? There has been an abundance of articles recently addressing the fact that brands need to be on Snapchat, that they can’t miss out on reaching its audience with live, fresh content.

However, this isn’t the easiest channel to set up for a brand, without a clear strategy and time allocated to maintaining an interesting and relevant stream of content, it can be a real risk.

Instagram has opened the doors for brands to share moments it doesn’t necessarily want to post forever, but is fun, snappy content it would like its audience to see for 24 hours.

For brands already present on the Instagram it is time to have some fun and share highlights in between planned content, without the pressure of setting up an additional channel.

Although this doesn’t mean content shouldn’t be thought-out and have an objective, it does mean other brands will be immediately engaging its already loyal followers in this new, exciting way.

It is still early days and we’re yet to find out what other aspects of Instagram Stories will roll out, as well as how Snapchat will respond, but it feels like Snapchat now has a serious contender.