Instagram has begun to rollout its new Stories feature and the world is wondering how they could have so blatantly ripped off Snapchat. Sophie McAulay, Content Specialist at online marketing agency Web Profits, helps you figure out what Instagram’s latest move mean for marketers and how will it affect brand’s social media strategies.
Instagram’s move into the more immediate mirrors a trend being adopted across social media. Facebook’s Live video has become more accessible and Twitter signed a deal with the NFL to show American football live. And with Snapchat now reported as having 150 million daily users, it’s clear that people are relishing the move towards real-time content consumption.
It’s perhaps unsurprising then, that Instagram’s glaring replication of some of Snapchat’s features hasn’t stopped users from rushing to test it out, with some already figuring out how to use Snapchat’s much-loved filters on the Stories platform (hint: save your Snapchat story).
Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom was quoted in Techcrunch, saying: “This isn’t about who invented something. This is about a format, and how you take it to a network and put your own spin on it.”
So how will businesses put their own spin on Instagram’s latest offering? Will the immaculately styled content of their regular Instagram content translate to Stories? And are brands which are increasingly piling into Snapchat, some with half-baked strategies, now going to rethink and devote investment to a platform and a community they have been nurturing for much longer?
Instagram Stories has already been called ‘Snapchat for adults’, and there are certainly differences that will remain between the two platforms, with Instagram seen as the more mature, creative, design-led platform and Snapchat more raw, relaxed, and fun in tone.
In particular, brands who are yet to implement a solid Snapchat strategy will likely feel relieved – they can invest their content-sharing efforts in Instagram without feeling compelled to branch out to an entirely new platform.
The time, effort and money invested in growing, nurturing and engaging Instagram followers will also surely play a part in the process of deciding which platform to leverage. Considering the obvious limitations of Snapchat’s friend growth capabilities, marketers will be looking for opportunities in terms of branding, awareness and overall campaign virality.
Others, who’ll be less quick to pronounce the death of Snapchat, will point out the features that Instagram’s version of Stories doesn’t replicate – yet.
Snapchat still offers the ability for brands to advertise in a unique and creative format, rather than simply slipping ads into users feeds.
Publishers like Mashable, BuzzFeed, and the Daily Mail, as well as some sports leagues, are producing daily content for Snapchat’s branded content platform the Discover Network. Brands can also advertise through sponsored geofilters (like McDonald’s did with their ‘Maccas run’ filter), which fit in with consumer’s usage of the platform in a way that doesn’t feel like an intrusion, but rather, an opportunity to participate and engage with a brand through a natural activity.
For now, brands will continue to use Snapchat for these original features, but we’ll also see them testing out Instagram Stories.
They’ll begin to use Stories as an opportunity to enhance their carefully curated Instagram feed with sneak peeks of the more human side of their company, reserved for their most committed followers. With real-time capabilities and creative campaign opportunities now enabled, it’ll be interesting to see how brands integrate this feature within their marketing efforts.
An image posted of an event on Instagram may now contain a note to ‘see more in Stories’, where brands have the opportunity to pull back the curtain and offer an insight into the imperfect, behind-the-scenes footage and photos that complement their more styled, artistic shots. With Stories appearing in a row at the top of the main feed rather than on a separate panel, these kinds of posts will slot in ever-so-simply with a platform that people are already using regularly.
And with Stories sorted by who you interact with most, brands will also enjoy having the opportunity to post more regularly without fear of overwhelming people’s feeds.
Certainly this seems like an exciting opportunity to engage and connect even more with Instagram followers, who’ll likely start to feel the need to check in with Instagram more regularly to avoid missing out on something fleeting but arguably more exciting.
It increases the urgency of the platform in a way that’ll see it go from strength to strength as a platform for brands to use for marketing. Whether that means that in the long run they’ll ditch Snapchat entirely remains to be seen, but it is clear that Snapchat now has a contender that it will ignore at its peril.
Hayley Fisher [pictured] is the AUNZ Country Manager at Adyen. In this op-ed, she discusses the upcoming holidays sales season and explains marketers can help drive sales. Over the 18-months the pace of ecommerce has accelerated to new heights. According to latest figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), a record $44.2 billion was […]
TPG Telecom has announced it will hold a creative pitch to further develop the Vodafone brand here in Australia. Last year’s merger between Vodafone and TPG brought together a family of brands under the TPG Telecom group, with the creative shift to position Vodafone for the future. While Vodafone’s long-standing relationship with WPP will continue, […]
Following 18 months of intermittent lockdowns across Australia, shopping centre giant Westfield is launching a new service that will tap into the ecommerce boom. The new service, named Westfield Direct, will take on the likes of Australia Post by providing shipping directly to customers. Shoppers will also be able to select items from an online […]
SBS has been recognised as one of Australia and New Zealand’s Most Innovative Companies, in the prestigious annual list published by the Australian Financial Review and Boss Magazine, from over 700 nominated organisations. Ranked third on the Media and Marketing list, SBS was the only media company to make the list, recognised for its growing and evolving multilingual digital services, exemplifying SBS’s innovative culture and strategy. SBS provides multiplatform services in more than […]
Twitter has confirmed it is experimenting with a new ad format which will see ads placed within conversation threads for the first time. The company’s Revenue Product Lead Bruce Falck made the announcement on Thursday. “Starting today, we’re trying something different and testing a new ad format in Tweet conversations,” he posted on Twitter. “If […]
In exciting news today, Mushroom Group is thrilled to announce much lauded Aussie music program The Sound will return to the ABC this November! Celebrating some of our best musical talents since its launch in 2020, The Sound Season 3 will debut on Sunday 7 November at 5.30pm (local time). Viewers can watch The Sound on ABC TV each Sunday afternoon or catch up with the latest episodes via ABC iview. Across Season […]
Strategic design and innovation company AKQA has received the top industry ranking in the 2021 AFR Boss Most Innovative Companies List. This is the third consecutive year the company has been acknowledged by the AFR for its commitment to innovation in the media and marketing category. The Most Innovative Companies Awards were presented via a […]
National news brand, The Australian, has launched a new podcast from Hedley Thomas, Shandee’s Story. Shandee’s Story is the culmination of six months’ work by Thomas, the award-winning investigative journalist behind The Teacher’s Pet and The Night Driver podcasts. The podcast investigates a harrowing cold case. Shandee Blackburn was left to die after a frenzied knife attack as she walked […]
Greater Bank has won a Silver Award at the 2021 Step Two Intranet & Digital Workplace Awards with its Intranet Built on the Elcom Digital Employee Experience Platform. The global awards recognise outstanding contributions to the fields of intranets and digital workplaces, honouring remarkable solutions that deliver business value to their organisations and then share […]
Two new research reports have revealed key drivers for ‘commerce content’ and the massive revenue opportunity it presents for digital publishers and brands. Published by independent media organisations, commerce content allows readers to understand the goods and services promoted by an editorial team. It’s now a major part of the partnership ecosystem, and a way […]