social media

Stories Vs. Posts: How to distribute content in the disposable age

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outdated posts lingering on your profile.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.

How an Algorithm Could Lead to A More Customised Video Advertising Experience

Here’s a high concept for you: could a data algorithm eventually lead to the obsolescence of

video editors and help create thousands of customisable adverts tailored to target an

incredibly specific audience?

Recent leaps forward in data technology could make this a reality. Picture the current

method of video production for a social media distributed ad: client and video producers

meet, they corner the key message of the product and the broad audience they want to

target, the producers then go off and shoot a video, edit it together, post it online and wait

to see how much of that audience they can reach. While some of the audience will be

reached most of them will drop off in the first few seconds, few will even engage at all.

That’s just the nature of advertising, you can’t target every single person – except industry

insiders and data analysts are beginning to challenge that notion.

The content creation industry is experiencing a massive digital disruption in the form of

algorithms that analyse – and then predict – the viewing habits of social media users. This

algorithm has the potential to radically change the method of video production. Now,

producers could shoot hundreds of different versions of the same ad. One could feature an

actress instead of an actor, that actress could be African-American, or Indian, or Chinese.

They could wear different clothes, be in different locations, have different accents, it could

be raining. An algorithm would cut the video together in a matter of milliseconds, then

would present it to the appropriate user based on past viewing habits and clickthroughs.

You could be French doctor taking the bus to work in the rain and see an ad on your phone

immediately reflecting your own experiences. You could have an interest in architecture, or

like watching 80s teen movies and ad could pop up referencing those specific likes.

This isn’t science fiction, agencies around the world are starting to implement technologies

similar to this. Netflix has used this type of algorithm to target their shows specifically to

each user, even changing their own advertising to fit users’ specific interests.

While this type of content creation is still in its infancy, many industry insiders predict we’ll

be utilising it as soon as 2020. In world crammed with noise and distraction, creating an

advert that captures the attention of a viewer is an increasingly difficult task – this

technology could be an incredibly exciting way to do that.