Two days back, Instagram launched a new feature Instagram Stories which, arguably, is almost a clone of Snapchat. Even Instagram’s CEO Kevin Systrom, is unbashful about it, stating that “Snapchat deserves all the credit.”

For those who’ve yet to try this feature, here’s a quick run-down of how they measure up to each other.

  Photo sources:  Instagram Blog ,  11thsecond

Photo sources: Instagram Blog11thsecond

Erm… So what’s the difference here?
Yes, face filters.

     Photo source  :      Bored Panda

 Photo source: Bored Panda

But with the recent acquisition of video filter app MSQRD by Facebook (Instagram’s parent company), we can be sure someone’s working on it.

Okay. So what’s the difference from a marketer’s standpoint?

  1. You can now have the best of both worlds

For the longest time, Instagram has been the highlight reel of the best moments of our lives cherry-picked to be posted. It’s overly curated. And sometimes, bordering pretentious.

But with Stories, it’s raw, intimate and real.

Now, we can have both worlds – the A-roll and the B-roll, the highlight reel and the behind-the-scenes.

  Photo source: Your Friends Are Liars   by    Chompoo Baritone

Photo source: Your Friends Are Liars by Chompoo Baritone

And why is it great for brands?
It’s an opportunity to get up-close and personal with your audience. Feel free to experiment and try new things. After all, in 24 hours, it’ll be gone.

2. You can expect a bigger user base and reach
Snapchat, often labelled as the “app for millennials”, is difficult to use, especially to the older folks. (Yes, we’ve heard your laments.)

On the other hand…

Instagram Stories is already integrated within Instagram, so users who are already on-board will have less resistance picking it up.

Moreover, the reviews of the user experience have been positive, some even stating that it’s much easier to use compared to Snapchat.

3. It has a lower barrier to entry
While there’ve been occasional collaborations with Snapchat and brands, marketing on Snapchat is costly and near impossible.

Even more so for local brands, especially if you don’t have an existing partnership with Snapchat. Creating brand accounts are also hard, and gaining followers is a different challenge all together.

What Stories does is to remove those barriers and allow brands to create snapchatty content for a page that already has followers.

4. Metrics is the name in the game
Convincing a client to invest is Snapchat is like a leap into an abyss. What are the metrics of success? What’s the ROI? Is it worth investing in?

While Instagram Stories have yet to roll out a full framework for measurement, we can be sure that Instagram for Business will be on it.

On top “views”, we can hope to see how long the user has viewed a story, the follow-up clicks, taps, and follows – all to help us paint a bigger picture of the customer user journey.

Have you tried Instagram Stories? What’s your take on it?