Have you noticed the increase in social media stories within the past year or so? Do you think they might be getting a little out of hand?
While the answer may be a little subjective, the truth is, don’t expect to see this social media feature go anywhere anytime soon.
Social media stories are on the rise. To help you learn more about the options and where they are headed in the future, use our guide below on the ever so popular story trend.
Social Media Options
To understand what is going on in the world of social media stories, then we must clarify exactly what these different social media apps do.
The top social media options out there that have specialized story features include:
Snapchat is the first app that really popularized the social media stories, as a convenient and fun way to send photos or videos to friends and family without using up your phone’s memory.
The story app allows you to add captions, drawings, and filters to any “snap” that you create. You can only view them for 10 seconds, however, unlike other messaging apps.
After the 10 seconds (or whatever you set the timer to), the snaps are virtually destroyed, leaving no trace behind.
Snapchat was the first free app that allowed for this function. It is easy to use, both with the story function and the ability to quickly add anyone in the contacts of your phone.
The ease of use and unique function is really what drove this app to the top and really started the movement of stories for social media everywhere.
Almost a year ago, Instagram released its own version of social media stories.
You can share many photos and videos to your story, that will appear in a slideshow format. There is no limit to the number of stories you can have and they will disappear after 24 hours.
When a new story pops up from your friends, it instantly goes to the front of the stories at the top. When you view one, you are allowed to comment on what you see or send a private message to someone.
The story feature follows the privacy settings of your account, so if you set your account to private, then your story is only visible to your followers.
Following the trend of social media stories, Facebook released its own version of stories earlier this year.
The new camera comes with a variety of photo effects and function, along with a few features that sound very similar to the stories for the other social media apps.
The Direct feature lets you send disappearing photos to the friends you choose. The story feature, similar to Snapchat and Instagram, let you document a moment in your day as well.
The camera can be accessed on the top left of the app or by swiping right in the News Feed. From there, you can play around with masks, frames, or interactive filters.
Facebook plans on partnering with brands for upcoming movies, so you will be able to use movie-themed designs for a unique option.
The News Feed has the stories of your friends at the top, the same way that Instagram shows stories. These can be visible for up to 24 hours.
If you want to Direct your friend, you can click the icon at the top left. These will disappear once seen by the people you send them to.
Benefits of Social Media Stories
All of these social media apps are delving into social media stories because of the popularity of the simple act of storytelling.
Storytelling allows us to build our own narrative and connect on a more meaningful level with friends, family, and everyone in between. It is the core of our social and content strategy.
These stories help us share pieces of our lives, no matter where we are in the world. Now almost all social platforms are starting to recognize this and bring their own version to the table.
Not to mention, the story function has a few advantages over other types of social media, such as:
Popularity Over Posts
Social media has created this timeline that we are able to keep up to date online. Full of pictures and posts, we have been able to capture moments and share them with our friends and family.
Sometimes, however, the apps can fail in the timeliness of everything. Algorithms may become dysfunctional, or stories may appear out of order.
The stories, on the other hand, help us fill in the gaps that may exist. They can string along our unique narratives and continue our timelines, with limited effort.
Ease of Use and Access
Not to mention, these story features are very easy to use and access, depending on which app you are using.
Instagram even slowed down the growth of Snapchat after it launched stories because so many people were already familiar with the platform.
Stories are overall just easy to use and access, so we don’t have to put much effort into continuing our social media appearance. Our narrative can remain relevant as we experience life on a daily basis.
The Negative Aspects
However, not everything is so positive with social media stories.
There are more and more problems linked to social media as it advances, especially with methods that can make social media more personable in our lives.
The negative aspects associated with social media and stories include:
1. Getting Too Serious on Social Media
Compulsive overuse of social media and its affiliated features is pretty common these days.
We can get so caught up with our online personas and activities that we forget about what we are ignoring in our real lives, or how much time we are actually wasting.
The goal is to maintain a healthy balance, so we don’t forget about what is really important in our lives.
2. Forgetting Who is Watching
A big problem with social media is that it’s hard to determine what is actually private versus what is public.
It’s hard to know who is in the know, and it’s most certainly difficult to figure out how things will be taken out of context when we are in the moment. Stories are all about being in the moment, so they are definitely at risk.
With an increase in law verdicts based on what people have done, said, and shared online, expect this problem to continue well into the future.
3. Questionable Taste
Selfies are continuing to dominate social media, especially on Instagram. The stories feature also helps with this, as they can disappear after the day.
However, the question of taste is becoming more and more debatable these days.
Whatever you post online can end up embarrassing you or even change your life, so think before you post a selfie. Though a disappearing ability exists with stories, that doesn’t necessarily mean they can be protected.
4. Bringing it to Work
Not to mention, the fact that social media and stories can interfere with the workplace and cause problems for you and your place of work.
Everyone is online, but it can be easy to forget that one public mishap can actually tarnish your career.
Again, regardless of the disappearing ability, you need to be careful with your stories and your work.
Now that you know the ins and outs of social media stories, let’s check in to see what else we can expect in regard to stories and the like this year:
Standardization of Platforms
Until pretty much this year, all social media apps had their own distinction and uniqueness that they brought to the table.
While Snapchat was always about in-the-moment stories, Instagram was the best way for us to share our best images and videos. Facebook was just a fantastic way of letting us connect with each other from around the world.
This year, expect to see most social media platforms testing out their own version of short, snackable, in-the-moment content. By the end of this year, most will allow users to:
- Create and share video content
- Create and share live video content
- Discover news and what’s going on around them via location
The Rise of Instagram
This year, we will continue to see the story war between the 3 major social media platforms: Snapchat, Instagram, and Facebook.
If we’re being honest, however, it’s Instagram that is expected to rise this year. When Instagram stories launched, Snapchat stories had view counts that decreased by 15-40%.
While both are unique in their own sense, expect to see Instagram continue to increase users this year as their story function continues to find success in 2017.
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So what do you think? Are social media stories getting out of hand these days? Let us know in the comments down below.