Snapchat may be on the way out, but it’s legacy as a major social media disrupter has
staying power. Nearly every social media platform has incorporated the app’s “stories”
function – short clips that only last seconds, then are gone forever. In fact, these functions
are becoming more popular than actual posts.
According to Techcrunch, Instagram stories have 250 million users every day. That means
more than 250 million people are either viewing or watching Instagram stories, every single
day. And that’s just Instagram.
In contrast snapchat only had 160 million daily users at its peak.
The stories function contradicts most of what we’ve always been taught about social media:
that everything on the internet is written in ink – it’s permanent and there’s nothing you can
do about it. With stories, a brand can post its content to a huge audience, make its impact
(succinctly), then watch it disappear after a 24-hour period. This impermanence prevents
your content from clogging up your followers’ feeds and saves you from worrying about
outdated posts lingering on your profile.
The stories function has also had the effect of pushing social media content into one of two
categories: that which is worthy of permanence on your feed, and that which should only be
glimpsed for a few seconds on your stories. That’s not to say one form of content is of lesser
quality than the other, just that each serves a different purpose.
Content for stories is the perfect chance to be creative, a little edgy and different. Stories
can be fun and highly interactive, they can be made on the fly, they can be scheduled to
appear at just the right moment. All that matters are that they are attention grapping and
memorable, but the stakes are significantly lower than that of permanent posts.
Permanent posts should look good. They should understand your brand and communicate
that expertly. While the audience for them might be slightly smaller, they’re what people
see when they want more information about what you offer. Stories reel in interest, posts
keep them there.