Instagram has announced a new archive and display process for Instagram Stories which will open up a range of new opportunities for the option.
The main update is ‘Stories Highlights’, which will enable users to display Instagram Stories content on their profile, with a new Stories bar being added below your bio info.
As you can see, you’ll soon have a section dedicated to showcasing your Instagram Stories content – you’ll be able to pick and choose which of your Stories videos and images are included in each. So, for example, in this case, the user has titled one of her stories ‘Music’ where she can include all of her music-related Stories posts in one continuous playing stream.
You can add up to 100 photos or videos to each Story Highlight, with no limit on how many Highlights you can create.
The option provides another way to showcase and utilize Stories content, moving away from the tool’s Snapchat-based ephemeral roots. But, of course, in order to showcase your Stories posts, you need to be able to access them for longer than 24 hours. That’s where the ‘Stories Archive’ comes in.
As explained by Instagram:
“Moving forward, your stories will automatically save to your archive when they expire. This makes it easy for you to revisit your favorite moments later on or bring them back to life in a highlight.”
Yes, all of your Stories will now be saved to a private archive, which you can access and sort through to choose specific Stories videos and images to share via Highlights. The archive will add more value to Stories, as the content will remain available, which could encourage further investment, and effort, in the option. Users will also be able to opt out of the archive and keep their stories ephemeral if they wish.
The options open up a heap of new opportunities. With Stories now existing beyond the 24 hour period, you can create more immersive, story-driven posts, even longer, narrative-defined episodes which you can then display on your profile, providing a new way to showcase your personality and/or business offerings.
Giving older Stories content a dedicated profile space enables a whole new way of communicating via the option, especially for brands. You can now create Highlights based on specific products, campaigns, even Q and A type responses to help boost connection.
That archived Stories content can also be used in a range of ways beyond just Highlights – you can re-share your Stories posts via direct messages, in your regular Instagram feed, you can even download them then re-publish them to your current Story.
As noted, Stories were originally based on ephemerality, facilitating that quick, immediate communication popularized by Snapchat. But even Snapchat’s now moving away from this. With Stories becoming a much bigger part of the wider social communications process, it makes sense to give them more specific focus, and life beyond the disappearing Stories feed.
There are so many ways to utilize the new option, and as noted, having the content exist longer than 24 hours will give people more reason to invest more time and effort in their Stories, likely making it an even more significant consideration.
It’s a smart move for Instagram, and one which may help move them a step ahead of Snapchat, particularly in terms of appealing to influencers and brands.
The new options are available from today as part of Instagram v. 25 on iOS and Android.