Instagram Introduces New Stories Feature

Instagram made waves in the social media and digital marketing worlds this week as they announced the launch of Instagram Stories. The new feature allows users to share multiple photos and videos in a slideshow format. With Stories, Instagram users have expanded opportunities for creativity, as text overlay and drawing tools are included.

Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom provides an alternative perspective. He explains, “we need to have a place where you feel free to post whatever you want without the nagging fear of, did someone like that or not?”

Stories add value to Instagram personal users and brands alike, giving them an opportunity to share content that is more fun, raw, casual and ultimately authentic, in contrast to the posed and filtered images that had been the norm.

Since the announcement, a number of digital talking heads have been quick to “throw shade” at Instagram’s new feature for its likeness to Snapchat with some taking the position that Instagram copied Snapchat altogether. Instagram head of product, Kevin Weil told Buzzfeed that many platforms adopt and adapt features from other platforms. Examples include Facebook’s newsfeed structure being replicated on LinkedIn and how Twitter’s hashtag functionality has spread to a number of different platforms.

So what does this mean for the realm of digital marketing? Does this mark the beginning of the end for Snapchat? Social Media uber-expert Gary Vaynerchuk said “Anybody who thinks this is going to kill Snapchat is completely out of their mind. It’s a “no chance” statement. Sure, this update will affect Snapchat, but it won’t be the end of it.” He goes on to explain, and we agree, that while behaviors around Instagram and Snapchat may change, Snapchat’s established market share, product niche and ability to scale will continue to drive growth. DJ Khaled won’t be abandoning his 15 million plus Snapchat followers anytime soon.

We’ll be excited to follow the growth and adoption of Instagram stories over the coming weeks and months, as well as Snapchat to see if they launch any new features to help grow and add value for their loyal user base. If you’ve got any questions about how Charles River Interactive can help you with your Instagram or Snapchat presence, we’re happy to help!

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