Social media managers take note: The Stories format Snapchat invented and Facebook ripped-off is on track to eclipse the ubiquitous News Feed format.
According to a new report from social media agency Block Party, more than 970 million accounts across Instagram, WhatsApp, Snapchat, and Facebook Messengers currently consume or create Stories every day, an 842 percent increase since early 2016. The Stories products (Instagram, WhatsApp, and Snapchat) grew 15 times faster than the top News Feed platforms (Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter).
“While Feeds are generated by a healthy 28 percent growth, that's the 434 percent growth for Stories in the same time period , “Block Party wrote. If they continue growing at that rate, “well over 1 billion social accounts will use Stories daily by the end of the year.”
Stories, for the uninitiated, are photos and videos that are automatically assembled into a slideshow and disappear after 24 hours. Unlike the content you'll find in your News Feed, which is generally considered a highlight of a person's most flattering photos and videos, Stories often offer a look at people's daily lives.
“Despite the ubiquity of social media Feeds over the last decade, they are slowly being superseded by Stories, “Block Party wrote, echoing a recent prediction from Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.
Facebook has been a driving force in the meteoric rise of Stories. The company now has Stories inside its main Facebook app, plus Instagram, WhatsApp, and Messenger.
“We expect Stories are on track to overtake posts in Feed as the most common way that people share across all social apps, “Zuckerberg said during Facebook's January 2018 earnings call. “
Block Party, meanwhile, says Stories have become so popular because they” were built-from inception for the camera-equipped smartphone culture “while Feeds were designed for desktops.
Businesses that want to stay relevant online should begin shifting at least some of their social media efforts to Stories, if they have not already. Here's the issue: the Skills needed to create great Stories – “a mastery of storytelling, script writing, videography, photography, layout and design, motion graphics, augmented reality, on-camera interviews” possess – “copywriting, curation of existing photo and video assets, community management, and simple live video posts.” Block Party recommends companies increase collaboration between teams; foster a consistent brand identity; and studying what early Stories adopters like BuzzFeed, Starbucks, Netflix, NASA, and Refinery29 are doing.
“Media traditionalists sometimes find it hard to devote resources to content that does not live forever,” Block Party wrote. “But the reality is that audiences today want to consume the disappearance of the video content, and the scarcity and spontaneity of the format are part of the appeal.”