If the rapid growth of Instagram Stories wasn’t enough to make you consider how you might use the option for your business, this new update might provide another push.
In order to entice more users to click on Stories content, Instagram’s adding a new Stories presentation format which will appear mid-feed, in addition to the Stories profile bubbles which appear at the top of the app screen.
Image via TechCrunch
As you can see here, the new format will appear wedged between your regular Instagram feed, with new rectangular tiles that provide a preview of each Stories’ content, as opposed to just the profile bubble. As noted, the Stories profile bubbles will remain at the top of the app – this new tool gives Instagram a second chance to tempt you through to Stories content, with an image of what you’ll find inside.
The new format has been in testing for a few weeks, but Instagram has now confirmed that it’s being rolled out more broadly. For now, Instagram says that they have no plans to use the new rectangular preview format at the top of the screen.
The addition of a prominent, secondary promotion block for Stories underlines the rising importance of the option for the app’s audience. Instagram Stories has grown quickly, and now has more than 250 million daily active users – compared to Snapchat, the app the functionality was cloned from, which has 173 million daily users in total.
As more people gravitate towards Stories, it makes sense for Instagram to give the option more focus, and previewing the actual content of each Story could provide another key avenue to boost Stories usage.
And as noted, this could prove to be an important update for social media marketers. Already, Instagram Stories has prominent positioning in the app, making it a key consideration for promotional content, but now you’ll have a second chance to rope audiences in, with a new Stories prompt which also gives you the opportunity to entice them with another image, inviting them to click-through.
Stories growth continues to rise, and Instagram continues to add new tools and options to help enhance your Stories content, aligning with audience trends. As Facebook looks to further develop its AR tools, you can expect Instagram Stories to be a key testing ground, which will likely bring it even more attention.
If you’ve not considered the potential value of Stories as part of your social media marketing plan, it may be time to do so.
On another front, Instagram's also testing out a new stop-motion camera addition for Stories. It's only in test mode at present, but it's another creative tool for Stories that could also prove popular.