Social media usage has seen a massive increase with users in America spending an average of two hours daily on social media every day. With more and more platforms emerging, the number of users will continue to rise. The upcoming year, 2022 holds many expectations for social media enthusiasts, who believe that it is going to be busier than the previous one. While social media continues to establish a wholesome yet engaging customer experience to facilitate brands, various trends have been noticed.
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Where It All Started: Induction Of The Story Feature
With internet service providers providing exclusive packages and bundles that made online streaming a seamless process, it opened doors for digital media to grow and expand. Though Snapchat begin with the story feature, other social media channels were quick to notice the sudden rise of a trend, which led them to incorporate the said feature in their channel as well.
This led to Instagram stories that was then followed by Facebook stories. What’s more is that it highlighted the fact that while the attention span of online viewers decreased over the years, ephemeral content in the form of stories was appreciated by audiences all over the world.
Why Is This Bite-Sized Content So Popular With Audiences All Over The World?
The popularity of such bite-size content has been for several reasons. One, this kind of content is more like a tease for the audiences as this type of content stays online for a short time and then disappears. Hence, audiences are more likely to click on it to quench their curiosity. Moreover, ephemeral content like stories on different social media channels presents a bite-size teaser of a larger campaign to the visitor. Though this feature started with Snapchat, LinkedIn and Twitter, too have joined the cause to better engage their niche audiences.
How TikTok Further Boosted This Feature
Another social media platform that propelled the rise of evanescent content is TikTok, whose popularity upsurged, especially when the pandemic hit the world, shoving us to our homes and curtailing maximum human contact to keep ourselves safe. While the USP of TikTok lies in its bite-size videos (the highest video length that you can have is a 3 min long video), it showed brands how they could utilize this kind of content to keep audiences coming back for more.
Different Stories – Different Social Media Channels
This brings us to another important facet: channels and their target audiences. Different social media platforms offer the feature, where can you publish and share these stories with your followers.
Hence irrespective of the social media app you use, you can create a short video and share it with your friends, family, acquaintances, co-workers, and all those who are on your contact list. Brands have been using the stories feature to keep a check on their customer’s pulse. This gives them an insight into the various aspects that engage audiences and which don’t.
It also displays innovative approaches for the brand to truly shine while tapping on the FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) factor, which drives the appeal to check the content before it disappears from the channel.
Besides marketers, many users also use the stories feature to see what activity keeps their friends busy in real-time, while updating the contact list of your whereabouts, keeping you connected on the go. Some popular kinds of story content that have been observed online by brands and the public is as follows:
- Behind the scenes
- Capturing the highlight of the moment
- Unboxing gifts and knick-knacks
- Quotations and deep sayings
- Candid moments photographed
- General updates and new interactive posts that are updated
- Q/A session
When ‘The Story’ Had A Fall
We listed the following two instances where this feature of sharing ephemeral content didn’t work well with audiences:
When You Are Unsure Of A Tweet But Also Don’t Want To Litter The Internet With Your Rant: Fleets by Twitter
Twitter introduced an Instagram story-like feature, that displayed ephemeral content to users, called Fleets. The main idea behind the feature was that a person could use the Fleets feature if they were unsure of the tweet they were about to post on their account. However, within eight months, Fleets was removed from Twitter. Lack of use was cited as one of the main reasons for its removal. Hence, to keep it available on Twitter was of no use.
Giving A Professional Touch To Your Story: LinkedIn
LinkedIn is an employment-oriented service that helps you to manage your professional identity online for prospective employers to see and commend. It introduced the story feature as a means for you to build and work on your professional network. The LinkedIn Stories feature allows users to create engaging yet professional content on their mobiles. This may include both photos and 20-second videos, which will stay up on the profile for 24 hours. Users can add professional mementos from their everyday life or news of the industry that they are a part of, to give their network insight into their careers and their journey so far. Unfortunately, LinkedIn soon removed this feature, after Twitter scrapped its Instagram-like feature called fleets.
The Bottom Line…
With many brands utilizing the story feature, it is not just to keep your contacts updated with the latest updates, it is another way to promote posts that you want people to see first. Even though you may use this feature or not, the concept will remain the same as defined before: you can watch the story or let it pass.