No, I’m not talking about the storytelling process on social media. I’m talking about the story feature of social media that we use on Facebook and Instagram. What’s that? You never researched about “Social Media Story” before? No problem, because I am here to give you all the things you need to know.
What is Social Media Story?
There are so many social media platforms out there and almost every platform uses some common features but why? Simple they are effective and user-friendly that’s why. Every social media platform has added a feature recently which is called stories. Stories lets you share the moments of your day in social media which stays in your profile for a limited amount of time. You can share photos, videos, writings, etc.
Suppose you’re going to see a doctor so you take a picture of the waiting room and share it as a story. Later that day you’re going on a date, you take a picture of you and your date and post it on stories.
The feature is not complicated rather it’s easy to use. If anyone reacts to your story you can even see that and reply them back.
This is how stories work.
Whose idea was it?
We all use stories, there’s no doubt about that but have we ever thought who created this feature? Well most of us didn’t.
The Inventor of social media story
Sorry to say, the feature was not created or invented by a single person. In fact, it was created by a team and if you’re wondering who was leading the team. Well, it was “Evan Spiegel”. If the name sounds familiar to you then stay tuned to know who he is.
The first app to use “Story” feature
Was it Instagram? Or was it Facebook? Or was it an app that you’ve never heard of?
Snapchat was the first app to launch the “My Stories” feature back in 2013. Evan Spiegel, the CEO of Snapchat came up with this idea to capture and share the instant moments that we enjoy.
As soon as Snapchat launched the feature every other platform started to observe the situation and waited to see the results. I suppose I don’t need to tell you the results because you know the answer better than me.
Why was this feature even created?
When a company is facing losses after losses they fire employees, WHY? Because the company already lost a lot of money and having too many employees means more money problems, right? Just like that everything happens for a reason.
We use stories on our social media accounts never asking ourselves why is this feature even here?
As we know Snapchat started the feature they wanted their audience to share their daily activities and upload them which will be featured for a limited time only. Newsfeed was a common feature back in 2013 and so Snapchat wanted to build a feature that will be only theirs. And then they launched “My Stories”
Stories became more engaging than newsfeed because it was easy to control. A 5 sec snap of every person you knew. Stories just keep on going, you see other people’s activities one after one and guess what you won’t be bored that easily. And this is how this feature was made.
What’s so special about social media story?
If you’ve read everything from above then you already know what stories are and that is it. There’s nothing more to it except the fact that when every social media platform adopted this feature their engagement jumped from 20% to 85%.
A burger is made with a bun, a patty and some sauce yet every restaurant has their different burgers, WHY? Because of the ingredients. In the same way, every social media platform customized the “Stories” feature and made it their own.
Now let’s find out what they did.
Facebook stories and messenger day both were launched by Facebook in March 2017 and these are very similar to Snapchat stories. Each story would only be visible for 24 hours.
On your newsfeed stories would appear on top of your newsfeed and on messenger it will be on top of the chat list yet you can see someone’s story by clicking on their icon.
Besides uploading external contents you can click pictures with the Facebook camera and while uploading it as your day it allows you to do different stuff. Such as
- Drawing on your pictures or texts
- You can add emoji’s and colored texts
- You can add virtual masks all over your face and be a vampire or a monster. Your wish.
They call it Instagram stories. Instagram Stories was launched in August 2016. After it launched Instagram faced a lot of criticism because people said they copied Snapchat. Instagram stories had features of Snapchat, Twitter, and Facebook. It was a mixup but somehow they managed to slide through all the drama.
You might ask yourself what made the Instagram story so special. Well, they were the first ones to bring filters moreover they have a feature where anyone can go live on stories and broadcast their activity. The broadcasting feature was a boost for the influencers. And damn they are making the best out of the feature.
Next, they added the story search where you can search for other stories by hashtags. Okay, now I can finally see other company’s stories without following them.
In 2017 they added story highlights. There the stories would be there forever unless you remove it. People would post some pictures and save some for the highlights. That’s how people are using it. I don’t want to talk about filters because Instagram has its own designed filters. The variety is the same as Facebook yet different.
The good news is Whatsapp didn’t name their stories Whatsapp stories. They call it Whatsapp Status. Whatsapp status has more privacy than other platforms. Only your contacted friends can see your status and if you want you can share a story with only one friend as well.
In Whatsapp status, you can’t add a video content longer than 10 sec. You can also add gifs.
Whatsapp doesn’t have any unique features like other platforms. In fact, they added the feature to adapt to the situation. Sounds funny but it’s a good move. When everyone is moving on there’s no point in staying behind.
Even though they are not that famous anymore, we all know they created the feature itself. So how can we not talk about it?
Snapchat is very famous among the younger generation. A snap a day keeps the tension away.
Snapchat did launch the feature first but they had to upgrade it in a bunch of ways to sustain their positing in the market.
When compared with other platforms Snapchat is very hard to use but some people think it’s cool and they even use it.
The best part about Snapchat is when you take a screenshot of someone’s day they get a notification with your name on it. Oopsie.
Besides that, the filters are so great. Snapchat has some unique designed filters that others don’t. This kind of forces everyone to use Snapchat.
In 2017 Youtube launched Youtube Reels which acted like stories.
Youtube Reels are for content creators. They can post their activity on it. This feature allowed creators to engage with their subscribers a little more. They were able to take more suggestions to make their content better and give subscribers what they want.
There are situations where many underrated YouTubers hit the spotlight by using the reels feature properly. But Youtube Reels doesn’t have anything special but they upgraded over time and moved on with the flow just like WhatsApp and they found success.
Filters are the most attractive things about stories. Social Media Platforms has a variety of filters. They have animated filters, licensed filters, country-specific filters, location filters, fine arts filters, etc. I believe I included all of it. Wait there’s one more, Reactive filters
Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat has the best filters. Their customized filters get new upgrades every time. In fact, these platforms are competing in making the most unique filters for their audience.
Now if I start saying how these filters work then this post won’t end. Anyways, the filters are great. That’s what makes them different.
How everyone is using social media story to grab attention
You know you’re a liar when you say you don’t care about how many likes your content got on social media. We all want attention one way or another. It can be from our clients or employees. It can be anyone. But the theory says, If you don’t do anything weird or interesting no one will give you their attention.
On social media, there are normal people, influencers, singers, dancers companies, clients, agencies, etc everyone is doing something unique to grab attention.
You wake up in the morning, take a picture of your coffee mug and post a story. You eat your breakfast, get ready for office and on your way you face traffic. You take a picture of the road post a story. You reach the office and start your work. The work pressure is very intense, you take a picture of your files and post a story. After a long day, your work is done. You sit on the back seat of your car take a picture of the shining traffic lights and post a story. Then you reach home and wait for another day.
In case you didn’t get my point, normal people would post everything that is happening around him and add them to the story so others can see. And of course, they would add some classy captions and stickers so their friends would think they’re cool.
The thing about companies is they don’t mess around. Where ever they go they look for profits and opportunities. Just like that, companies like to advertise on social media. They would pay money to advertise their product or service on every social media platform.
If we talk about stories, companies are now focusing more on advertising on stories rather than the news feed. Why? Because people invest more time on stories and not on their wall.
Companies would advertise their offers and service more and more to get the attention they need. They would ask questions to the customers or they would play a game. They even start polls to seek votes from customers.
These are the basic things that companies use to get attention. Besides customers, attention depends more on the content
Stories vs News Feed
The core difference between Stories and News Feed is that News Feed is fully open and accessible whereas Stories isn’t. How’s that?
News Feed is like a gallery where you can store all the photos and videos in one place and everyone can see it, right? Yes, you have privacy settings but you can’t choose who can’t see it.
Stories, on the other hand, is like a one time offer. You either see it on time or it’s gone forever. You can also restrict people from seeing your content on stories. Let’s say that your boss’s new haircut is worse and funny. You take a picture of him/her and upload it on stories but wait, your boss is in your friend list and he/she will fire you if you make fun of him/her.
Now, what will you do? Simple, you just go to the settings and restrict him/her from seeing it. Not only one person you can also restrict multiple people as well.
When you’re on News Feed you realize you need to scroll a long way to find your favorite content but on stories, your favorite content is just one click away. Forget about clicking, once you start watching it will automatically change.
You ever post something on your profile and after 10-12 days you realize you shouldn’t have done that. Then you go back to your profile and notice that it’s already seen by a huge amount of people and there’s nothing you can do about it. Here you get the benefit of posting in stories because they disappear after a limited time. It won’t stay in your profile for a long time.
The benefit of stories doesn’t end here. Stories only appear when you click on them, they won’t disturb you by any means. You can select whose story you want to see and avoid seeing unwanted content. That’s a plus point.
Reactions and Comments
On News Feed if anyone reacts or comments on your post everyone can see it and trust me it can be really frustrating when someone starts making illogical comments on your post. But on stories only you will know who’s reacting or commenting because everything will be notified in your inbox.
Stories might be a lot different than News Feed but News Feed has some features of its own as well.
Stories allow you to edit content before publishing which you can’t do on News Feed. You don’t need external apps or software to edit because stories have their own internal feature to edit.
Your personal Gallery
News Feed can be your online gallery and if you want you can choose to hide it from everyone and keep it personal as well. The restriction option on the News Feed is different from stories. You either hide it from everyone or you don’t.
Most importantly you might think News Feed gets more views and attention but NO. When users open social media for a short time they would spend their time watching stories.
These are the big differences that News Feed and stories have. Besides these, there are very small differences to talk about which might seem useless.
So now you know where to post your content more.
Paid promotions through “Stories”
If we combine all the famous social media platforms together I can say that more than a billion people post content on stories every single day. Social media advertising is a big thing nowadays but after this “Story” feature companies have found a new way to engage with their audience.
Think about it like this, A blog posting company that writes various content for its users is not getting enough views and audience. So they thought of taking feedback from their audience on how to develop their business. So they posted questions on News Feed and got very little answers. People would view the post but won’t comment.
Then they tried using stories to get feedback. Since the stories keep changing one after another and most people use stories to pass their time, the company started to get more views. Not only views people would actually spend their time and give a response.
That’s how things work. There are billions of posts on News Feed whereas on stories anyone can see your content just by clicking on your profile.
Companies nowadays use small promo videos of their product on stories. They would use polls and filters to get feedback from their audience. Posting content every day allows you to get more engagement and that’s the key. But wait, if you post a bunch of contents in your story then you’re messed up. No one likes to see overloaded content.
If you do so they will skip your whole profile and watch something else. And trust me, every big company knows this thumb rule.
But wait there’s a strategy if you want to post a bunch of social media stories then use a storytelling method?
Companies are telling stories through the “Story” feature. They make a long story and divide them into 10-15 pictures and upload all of them at once. Storytelling makes people more curious they would keep seeing your stories just to know “What happens next”.
Social media platforms like Instagram and Snapchat have an unskippable ad feature on stories. So when a company advertises on these platforms people are bound to see those 5-10 second ads because they can’t skip it. This feature allowed companies to get more views.
Every brand has its own platform to advertise. Brands that focus on fashionable products they would choose Instagram to advertise. Why? Because Instagram is all about showcasing pictures. So you need to know what your brand is all about and research on a platform before investing your money.
In the 21st century, brands are focusing more on stories rather than News Feed because Stories are getting more traffic. So if you’re a brand and you want your product or service to get noticed then get out there and start advertising on stories.
How you should use Social Media Stories
If you’ve read all the things from the top you already know what Stories is. You might be a social media freak and upload everything you do but are you sure you’re doing it the right way?
Let’s get this straight. What are you? A company? A normal guy who loves to post random things? An influencer? A storyteller? What are you?
Once you realize what you are you need to find out what you want. Why would you use stories? What’s your benefit? Do you want fame? Do you want attention? Do you want to feature anything? What do you want?
Understanding yourself and what your desires are is very important. If your computer motherboard is malfunctioning changing the ram won’t help. If you hire the wrong employee training them over and over again won’t help. So, fix your aim first.
Sharing your personal life
We do these a lot, don’t we? Whatever we do we post it on stories. But sometimes we forget to notice what content we are posting.
Privacy is not a joke and there’s no rule that you have to post everything you do on social media. People posts a lot of personal content on stories and most of them get viral without them knowing. People would make fun of it or pass vulgar comments and that’s not good.
What you can do is a post about the important stuff. What you’re doing, what you’re eating, whom you’re visiting. Surprises and celebrations are also a must to share but remember once you post something online you are letting people get access to your life.
A Brand’s Perspective
Using stories a brand can easily promote its services and products. A brand can feature its campaigns, pictures, product outcome, and growth to let people know who and what they are.
A brand can use polls and ask questions to engage with customers. You can add links to your stories with a catchy headline so people would click it. You can mention your brand partners or mention a top customer in the story as well. And of course, if you’re giving away coupons or discounts you know what to do.
If you haven’t tried telling stories on stories then try it right away.
But what’s the definite way?
You can go live and let people know that you’re online to talk about something. You can use short videos of topics that your audience would love to see. You can sequence your ads one by one for your audience to see what you’re offering. You can put a picture of a decent place and write a short caption with a fact about the place. You can also use filters of effects to make stories as well. But how? Well, it depends on the content.
Don’t forget to use hashtags. Hashtags are like keywords, that one word that tells you everything and it’s pretty amazing too. You can use hashtags on infographics and hashtags on the topic. Simple way.
Now to sum everything up,
Social Media Stories was a feature introduced by Snapchat for its audience. It was made so that people can share their beautiful moments of life with others. It was so effective that other platform adopted it and customized them on their own and got a boost in business.
While people were busy sharing their moment’s companies took the feature for their profits. They found effective ways to boost their business.
Social media platforms are upgrading their story feature for the people as well as for the companies so that everyone stays happy. It might sound wholesome but it’s all Business.
So there you have it, everything you need to know about “Social Media Stories”
If you think I missed something? Do leave it in the comments