This week, the folks at Instagram (who work for Facebook) stole Snapchat’s lunch money. They launched Instagram Stories, which is a direct ripoff of Snapchat Stories, and some of the smart money is betting eyeballs will leave Snapchat in favor of the already more popular Instagram.
I know. It’s hard to keep up with the social media soap opera sometimes.
The concept behind “stories” on both platforms is that users can create mini photo-based narratives that disappear with time. And why would anyone want to do that? Snapchat Stories have been wildly popular with celebrities and young people. I think they appreciate that the images don’t have to be perfect. They won’t outlive us all. they are just a snapshot of right now.
Should we be doing that too? Good question.
This isn’t a way to push links or host ads. The popular photo-based platforms are primarily branding exercises for news organizations. They are a chance to show that you speak to this demographic and that your photography is worth looking at. Instagram suggests that the new Stories will be a perfect way to quickly stitch together a photo story during breaking news. I can see that. If you are covering, say, a street protest, you can send a series of photos as a story and share with your existing Instagram audience. Or maybe a sportswriter sends a story from the high school football game. It’s not rocket science. It won’t take forever. …
The good news is we can experiment with this for virtually no investment. What have you got to lose?