The one where I outlaw Instagram scissors, prohibit peony pictures and make flat lays illegal. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I am investigating Instagram Stories.
Hello and welcome to episode 16 of the Creative Me podcast. In today’s episode, we’ll be exploring Instagram Stories.
Earlier this month Instagram introduced a new feature called Stories.
What are Instagram Stories?
A story is a series of snapshots from your day. You can share multiple photos and short videos and they appear together as a slideshow. You can add text over the top and emoji, you can also add your own doodles in different colours.
Your story does not appear in your Instagram feed and it disappears after 24 hours. You can see stories from people you follow in the bar above your feed. When there is something new to see there will be a colourful ring around their profile photo. Tap the photo to see the story. There are no public "likes" or comments but you can message the person a comment directly.
Your story mirrors your account’s privacy settings, although you can easily hide your story from certain people you follow if you choose to.
Well That Sounds a Lot Like Snapchat
It sounds a lot like Snapchat, doesn’t it? Well, it is. But there are some key differences.
First, consider the purpose of both platforms and the consequent demographic the attract.
Instagram users tend to share only their best photos. Their feed is carefully curated; especially if they are using Instagram as part of their business social media marketing plan.
Snapchat, however, is instant and unpolished. There is no permanent feed. Everything is temporary and a little bit goofy. You have the option of adding Snapchat Lenses to your snaps. For those who aren’t in the know, this means you can do things like turn your selfie into a dog’s face sticking its tongue out. I think there’s also a rainbow vomit option…
As such, Snapchat seems to attract a younger age group. This is not to say that us thirty-somethings+ aren’t goofy. It’s just we’re old enough to reserve our goofiness for a more select audience.
I tried Snapchat and found it fun but not intuitive. Jo from the Shinybees podcast had to teach me how to use it! Now I’m pretty tech savvy, but I just couldn’t wrap my head around Snapchat. Apparently, teenagers intuitively know what to do…
Instagram Stories have text overlay and drawing options but that’s it. The lack of lenses suggests to me that they know their audience well.
I’m an Instagram Gal
Whilst I am an Instagram girl, I sometimes get a bit sick of seeing everyone’s perfect lives there. A while back I dabbled in Instagram flat lays. Heck, I even photographed some peonies. And I own two pairs of Instagram scissors. But it all felt a bit fake.
It was easy to populate my feed when I was knee deep in surface pattern design. I just shared all the pretty things.
Lately, my feed has been very book and podcast focussed. I think the transition in my business has left me unsure about my Instagram identity.
Wearing a business hat, I know it’s important to curate what you share on social media and focus on things your prospective customers want to see. However, I am torn. I want my feed to be interesting, attractive and also about me. I think that’s where stories can come in handy. They allow a glimpse behind the scenes - the more human side of an Instagram feed.
And then there’s the exposure…
The main reason why I’ve forgotten to use Snapchat for the past month, and have been dabbling in Instagram Stories, is exposure. I already have a decent audience on Instagram so every story I share has the chance of being seen by lots of people. I’ve not exactly been proactive in developing my Snapchat following (ahem… I cannot event work out how many followers I have!)
It’s really important if you use social media to promote your art or business, to experiment with different social media platforms. Never put your eggs all in one basket. However, it does feel like a lot of hard work to grow a following on Snapchat.
Instagram stories, just like Instagram posts, are public by default. That’s not how Snapchat works.
What’s My Plan?
I’m unlikely to put the effort into Snapchat now. I just don’t have the time or inclination to put the effort into growing a following.
So Instagram is going to be my creative social media platform of choice. I am going to continue developing my new ‘presence’ and use Stories to share real life behind the scenes moments. I’m going to try and talk to the camera more…. gulp.
If you want to follow me on Instagram, here are the links you need:
- martineeellis (my main feed - where my stories are)
- martineart (my art feed - just arty stuff, not much interaction and no stories)
- pennycavachon (my dog's feed...!)
What Do You Think?
I'd be interested to hear your views on all this Instagram Stories versus Snapchat stuff. Feel free to reach out.
That’s all from me today - thanks for tuning in.