I’m sure many of you know by now that I am big into Snapchat, I love it and have been posting content to Snapchat regularly now for the past number of months which great return in personal branding, networking and website traffic.
When Instagram first launched their Stories feature I was surprised along with many others. It was unexpected, however unlike a lot of people, after the first hour my mindset had changed to – “okay, how can I use this to grow my brand and content” while everyone else spent days crying over it.
However, bottom line is that Instagram have the makings of a much better product here and I can see myself getting much more involved in it if they continue to nurture and grow the stories platform. Instagram Stories has given a fresh coat of paint to what Snapchat has and a new audience to create their own content with it.
On a platform where the main feed is all about that perfect shot, it is refreshing for Instagram to bring a feature like this to their app. Now, along with business profiles rolling out, there is some massive potential for personal brands and business brands. So why have I held back from Instagram Stories at the moment?
My problem with stories on Instagram
The big problem I have is with the people I follow on Instagram at the moment. With Snapchat I have curated my feed, so I have added and removed people on there to get the right mix of what I want to see. My Instagram feed is a big mix of brands, celebrities, friends and family and to be honest – I don’t want to see all your stories.
Snapchat has allowed me to curate stories to how I want and follow people that I want to follow such as Sara Dietschy, Gary Vaynerchuk, The Happy Pear and more. I don’t want to be too rude about it but I am not really interested in seeing stories from cousins, aunts or even my mother as I get to see her every day! Snapchat is smaller and tailored to my interests and what I want to see.
I like seeing those awesome shots from a street artist doing his thing on Instagram, but I don’t really want to see his story and sure I could swipe right on past that story but the reality is that I feel that way about a lot of people I follow on Instagram.
I have been watching how people have used Instagram stories over the past weeks since it has been launched and it seems that the people who create those beautiful shots you see on your Instagram feed are not necessarily as good at creating stories.
That comes back to something I have said to people before regarding Snapchat. Some people have crazy success on Snapchat simply because they are great practitioners of the platform and it works for them. People who rock it on Twitter or Facebook are not necessarily going to be pros on Snapchat, more often than not they can struggle to adapt to such a radically different social platform.
So you could have an awesome Instagram feed, but your Instagram stories could be incredibly boring and it is in that mix where the problems start to rise because while I want you in my feed, I don’t want you in my stories.
What I have recognised on Instagram stories is that the people who are present on Snapchat have taken to the new feature like a duck to water. People with little or no Snapchat exposure are posting vacation photos, photos of the office, photos of their car ride and so forth as if it makes compelling viewing.
All these problems and I am a light Instagram user!
All of these problems arise from someone who is really lightweight on Instagram at the moment (though I see that changing over the coming months – not necessarily in stories). I only have 116 followers and I follow 374 people. Despite that my stories feed is clogged up with junk and right now I am so busy I just don’t have the time to consume all that content each day.
I dive in, watch a few updates and then have to jump back out again. I don’t have the time to sit down and watch them all, nor do I have the desire to sit down and watch them all.
What I would personally like to see Instagram do is to allow granular controls over what I am seeing so that I can follow a user in my main feed but not have to see their stories and the opposite.
Right now the best thing I can do is to try and clean up the accounts I am following on Instagram, but I don’t even think that is going to help too much. However, Instagram does have a much more polished product here and if they grow it as well as they have grown Snapchat then I can certainly see myself jumping in.
For now I only post very casually but an improvement to stories and the rollout of business profiles could change all that.