Instagram Stories

by borne . August 5, 2016

Still bitter that Snapchat rejected his $3 billion offer to buy the platform back in 2013, Mark plotted the perfect revenge. He decided to just recreate Snapchat. No biggie.

If you haven’t heard of Instagram Stories yet, or you simply have no idea how it all works, then you can read all about it here.

The integration has been met with strong reactions here at Borne Digital HQ (we are highly opinionated, app developers after all), but I think we are all in agreement when we say that, for personal use, we don’t like it one bit.

So you don’t think we’re completely unjustified, let’s explore the reasons why we and so many others dislike it, from both an app developer’s and Instagram addict’s standpoint. Don’t worry there’s some positivity in here too.

Why We Hate It

Let’s begin our 400 word rant on the new Stories feature with some thoughts from leading app designer Elliott. Trust us, he knows his stuff.

“The implementation of the Instagram Stories feels rushed and unthoughtful. The styling of Instagram Stories seems in complete contrast to the overall clean and minimalistic feel of the app since their re-brand in May. I’ll be interested to see how Instagram Stories further integrates into the platform as the concept matures”

Very insightful Elliott.

Yes, it feels messy. It doesn’t match the minimalistic photos neatly lining our News Feeds. We now have row upon row of profile pictures, selfies, polluting our homepage. Instagram users whose photos we like, but whose lives we don’t really care about.

If you’re anything like me, you follow people on Instagram who post pictures that inspire you, and you follow friends on Snapchat who post videos of your other friends throwing up behind a bin.

The apps have always served totally different purposes. Instagram is the platform for us all to show off how beautiful our lives are and Snapchat, how ugly.

Yet the integration has become just another way for people to post boring videos of their baby dribbling onto social media. It’s no longer the platform of perfection and, since the new Stories feature came out, I have unfollowed a huge number of people. Mainly because despite their flawless or inspiring Instagram feed, the blurry videos of their dog playing ball aren’t interesting. I just wanted to see their nice photos. Despite the controversy over Instagram’s ‘masking of reality’, I was quite happy to see perfection. That’s what made the platform different in the first place. Everyone knows there is no way your face actually looks like that, and that’s OK.

Why don’t I just ignore the stories? Well, I am infected with ‘cannot leave anything unopened’ syndrome (this is a real thing). I have to open all my emails, all my messages, all my reminders. I open all my Snapchat stories even if it involves giving myself repetitive strain injury from tapping so fast on the screen because the story is so mind-numbingly boring. I cannot just sit there scrolling through Instagram without opening what now invades my Newsfeed, dozens of profile pictures enclosed in a colourful circle just begging me to open them.

Why We Love It

I think I’ve made it clear, we don’t love it. It’s possibly the worst thing since the Central Line during the July heatwave.

However, we have agreed to take a look at it from a business standpoint and begrudgingly, have decided that when it comes to marketing it’ll have it’s uses and, as a company ourselves, we will definitely end up embracing it (I still love you Snapchat).

Brands have used Facebook to establish their businesses for years, recognising the value of interacting with customers via the platform. It is only recently that Snapchat has taken off for businesses, yet Instagram’s Stories feature could soon counter this.

The Stories feature allows a ‘behind the scenes’ look into brands that isn’t currently offered on their perfectly polished feeds.

Every company knows that the key to successful marketing is to appear human, to remind your customers that their feedback is noted by an actual person and that they are not interacting with robots. Instagram Stories allows brands to do this in the same way as Snapchat, yet they don’t have to juggle between the apps, nor build a Snapchat following from scratch.

Meet the team, Q&As and company life are just a few of the ways that brands can utilise the new feature. Whilst many have already jumped on the Snapchat bandwagon, content like this will be much more widespread on Instagram. As of June 2016, Instagram had 500 million monthly active users. Snapchat had 100 million. Clearly getting followers to see the ‘people behind the brand’ is far more effective when done on Instagram, and those companies who are yet to build a following on Snapchat can utilise their existing Instagram followers.

Facebook’s live video content has seen their profits surpass expectations and Instagram can begin utilising this too. Originally, Facebook was the place to go for breaking news and live videos, but all this may change with the new stories integration. I don’t think Mark would mind which platform we use, as long as we don’t all flock to Twitter – which incidentally many people are doing to express their distaste for the new feature.

So, for businesses, Instagram Stories gets a begrudging thumbs up. Mark has created something that will help many companies and unfortunately, we think Snapchat may struggle. Once Instagram allows users to apply the dog filter or morph into bees, it could all be over. If we were Evan Spiegel we’d probably be a bit pissed off.

But, for personal use, we don’t like it. It doesn’t work, it doesn’t make sense and I personally will continue posting avocado on toast to Instagram and a demolished tub of Nutella to Snapchat.

Sorry Mark but it’s a dislike from us.

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