With more than 1 billion active users right at the moment, Instagram is one of the most popular social media platforms today. It’s part of the big three of social platforms industry, alongside Facebook and Twitter. Technically owned now by Facebook, Instagram has been in the business since 2010, when it was the platform for cool kids in those days.
In 2015, Instagram launched one of its most used features to date: Instagram Stories. At the time, it was a direct competition and a copy of what was then Facebook’s My Day and Snapchat Stories. Facebook has more engagement, of course, but Instagram isn’t far along and belonging to the same company, it’s only fitting that the feature trickled down to it.
Instagram Stories, in essence, are posts from users that disappear after a day. The inspiration came from another budding platform at the time called Snapchat, which was popular with the younger crowd. Snapchat originated Stories, and when Instagram launched it with the same name, it made quite a stir in Silicon Valley.
You see – Snapchat is touted as Facebook’s main competitor, and although their features and uses are entirely different, their basic framework as communication platforms are similar. Facebook didn’t copy Snapchat Stories, but in a subversive move, it made an Instagram sort of do the pot-stirring.
Instagram Stories is the company’s direct answer to the major gripe of users that “not everything is Instagram-worthy”. Instagram after its conception, became a tool for curating the perfect photos from adventures, restaurants and aesthetic, and people were pressured to make their timelines be as curated as can be.
Stories presented users the ability to share more to the platform without the intensity and dedication they would do in their timelines. A respite, one could say, to the high-pressure environment that exists in the platform’s main feature. In stories, a user can post anything he wants to, without thinking too much into it. The photo or video, unless highlighted, will be gone after 24 hours.
It provided for more leeway for users to be more informal, less aesthetic and more “real”. Today, there are at least half a billion daily users of Instagram Stories, and that number is expected to increase in the next six months or so. The edit option for the feature has been given a boost recently, catering to users’ need of more powerful features.
So if you’re an Instagram user, chances are you’ve already tinkered with Stories. It’s a no-nonsense way to share what you’re up to at the moment, whether you’re in a bar, or bored to death in your room. A few years after it’s conception, the stakes for a good Stories post have seen a spike, and here we have some tips for you to step up your game.
Creating The Engaging Instagram Stories Post
Instagram Stories don’t need to be the perfect curated timeline that everyone aspires to have on the platform these days. The first rule of thumb: be as creative as you can be. There are absolutely no rules in how you’ll frame the perfect Instagram Story, there are only the limitations that you’ve set for yourself.
Whether you want to feature what you’re currently watching or the great meal you’ve ordered, even the authentic watches with exorbitant prices you’ve seen on a shop – no one’s stopping you in sharing those. You can post anything under the sun, sometimes even nudes. So gear up, and keep on reading for two of the best ways to sizzle up your Stories posts.
One of the greatest things about Instagram stories is that it allows users to decorate their pictures with a built-in editing suite inside the app. After taking the right photo from your camera, or your photo gallery, adding decorative elements to it that will make it stand out is imperative.
You can add text, stickers, emojis and other additions which enhances the “viability” of your Story. The basics? Add in location, time and date of when your photo was taken. Afterwhich choose from the design options, enlarge it (or trim it down, depending on your taste), and line them up neatly so that they won’t block the perspective of your photo or video.
Adding in emojis – for example, of how you feel about the ice cream or the meal you just had, makes your story more relatable. Stickers are there if you want the further alternative of stamping what you think about something. They’re fun and kitschy, done in a way where it livens up the mood of the post.
Create a poll, ask questions and start trends.
What can you do to potentially increase engagement to your Instagram Stories? There are lots. You can create fun mindless polls: pencils or ball pens, yes or no to an extra serving of cake, or let your followers choose your next vacation destination. You can find the poll feature right on the editing app, alongside fonts and stickers.
Or you can ask questions, even start your #hashtag. Remember to properly overlay these decorations over the photo or video you’re going to use. Poor placement of these elements turns your Story unwatchable, and you don’t want that. Use font size accordingly – zoom in and out the element to make it bigger or smaller, depending on what you’re going for.
Instagram Stories is a fun addition to the Instagram life. It’s a wonderful feature that lets users be themselves and share the in-between of their lives. How it works for other users are carefully attended to as well, since stories sit on top of the feed, and it allows the user to view the story on his own accord. Have fun with Stories!