Within the last 24-hours, I have received countless text messages, a few phone calls, a ton of Snaps and even mere strangers coming up to me in coffee houses…all asking me the same question:
“WHAT DO YOU THINK OF INSTAGRAM STORIES?!???”
First of all, every one calm down.
Secondly, Mark Zuck is entirely unoriginal. (But we all kind of knew that.)
Thirdly, I think Instagram Stories are a totally awesome, absolute carbon copy of an engenius idea by a fellow named Evan Spiegel. Well played, Insta.
I digress. I do indeed like Instagram Stories. So far, I’ve most enjoyed watching the Stories of my Insta-friends as they get over their shock and process their delight that this feature actually exists now. I have also dabbled a little in creating my own Stories, and I think the filters are beautiful, the drawing ability is rad and most of all, it’s awesome to see a peek inside the lives of people that have up until this point been two dimensional, albeit beautiful.
What’s perhaps the most exciting about it to me is that it further validates that we, as a digitally connected global community, crave more and more authentic content. We want to see real people. Not edited, filtered, color-coordinated, perfectly stylized people. We’re a little over it. Which is why video content, and to be specific 3V content, is the wave of the future. If you’re paying attention to social trends, such as the uprising of millions of Millennials flocking to platforms like Music.ly, or companies like MikMak who are receiving multi-million dollar seed investments, the launch of Instagram Stories should have come as no surprise.
My first thought was, “Well, duh.”
My second thought was, “I’m definitely going to spend more time in Instagram.”
My third thought was, “I’m still a Snapchat girl first.”
Why? Because I like a challenge.
I also cherish and honor the depth and the sincerity that comes from a meaningful and engaged user-base.
Let me explain.
From the few people I have talked to who are loving Instagram Stories, I’m gathering it’s not because the Insta Stories platform is so sticky, innovative and addicting. It’s because the grind it takes to get people to follow them in this kind of capacity no longer exists. We all have a baked-in audience with our current Instagram following. Engagement, served hot. Eye balls, right of the presses. Who wouldn’t be excited about that?
But Snapchat takes some hustle. It takes effort. It takes some good old-fashioned marketing to grow your base on here, and for a lot of people, they want the shortcuts. Instagram Stories will now be a great source of your quantitative social media marketing, while Snapchat will remain qualitative. (And I’m a quality over quantity kind of girl every day of the week.)
I call Snapchat the “walled garden” because unlike every other social platform out there, your followers can’t see your engagement level (only you can) which eliminates the inherent popularity contest most social channels become and thus redefines what “influence” really means. And for me, it’s about genuine connections. What people fail to remember is that Snapchat started off as a one-to-one messaging platform. They rolled out Stories and the Discover Channel over time. It was always intended to be an exclusive communication tool, and that it shall remain…if Snapchat plays their cards right and for the love of God, I hope they do.
So how do you feel? Do Instagram Stories light you up, or are you a tried and true Snapper? Will you ditch Snap to be an Insta-Story star? Or will you dabble in both equally? How will you differentiate you content, if at all? No matter how we all feel, I think my friend, social media expert and influencer, Nicolas Cole, summed it best: “Time will tell and we’ll see very clearly what the market prefers.”