As explained by Instagram:
“When you tap to add a sticker to a photo or video in Stories, you’ll now see a music icon. Tap on it to open a library of thousands of songs — you can search for a specific song, browse by mood, genre or what’s popular and tap the play button to hear a preview. When you’ve selected your song, you can fast-forward and rewind through the track to choose the exact part that fits your story.”
The new option utilizes parent company Facebook’s new music rights deals – Facebook has secured partnership agreements with all the major record labels in the US, enabling users to add popular music without fear of infringing copyright.
When you do add a music sticker, viewers will be able to tap on it within your Story to see artist and song title info. At this stage, music stickers will not link out to a streaming service to purchase the song for yourself, but that seems like an obvious next step.
The tool adds another creative option to Stories, and one which will no doubt prove popular. The immediate comparison is Musical.ly, the karaoke-style app which currently has around 60 million monthly active users. But another comparison to consider could be the now defunct Vine, which boosted the careers of many musicians through viral videos that used their tracks.
The capacity to add popular songs could lead to a similar wave on Instagram, especially given the music will be readily available within the app itself.
But at the same time, it’s a little basic.
I mean, it makes sense, and as noted, it’ll likely prove popular, but it’s not something new - it's not really fresh functionality, something we haven’t already seen elsewhere. When Facebook announced its various music rights deals, it highlighted that fact that it would be creating 'new music-based experiences', opening up different creative options and broadening use patterns. Maybe those are still coming, or maybe this is the best you can expect – but either way, it does feel a little underwhelming.
But none of that will matter if people use it - and with 400 million people now using Instagram Stories every day, the likelihood is that people will do just that.
Music Stickers are available in Instagram version 51 in select countries, while the additional option to choose a song before capturing video is available on iOS only, with Android coming soon.