Facebook emphasized the growth of both video and Stories in its most recent earnings report, noting, once again, that Stories are the future of social sharing, and that video demand remains very high.
In order to make sure they tap into both trends, Facebook now needs to work out ways to better monetize its Story and video offerings – which is what both of these new Instagram updates are aimed towards.
First off, Instagram has added a new option to share IGTV content via Stories.
IGTV hasn’t taken off the way Instagram would have hoped, but Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has said that they have a plan to grow the option. That plan likely involves utilizing Facebook’s massive scale, with options like this, enabling easier sharing of IGTV content, and thus, organic promotion through its existing channels.
Still, it’s hard to see exactly where IGTV fits. It’s not a lean-back video platform like YouTube or Facebook Watch, and it’s more than the short clips Instagram already has. Is there really a demand for a middle ground offering between these two?
Snapchat’s Discovery programs would be the template, but those haven’t exactly been a huge success – though Snapchat did recently report that watch time of its Publisher Stories and Shows on iOS has grown by 15% this year. Maybe that’s what Facebook is seeing, that consumption of those shorter programs is growing – maybe not at a rapid rate, but steady enough to justify the investment.
In addition to this, Instagram’s also testing out a new option to promote your Instagram Stories.
The capacity to get your Stories into that top bar in your target audience’s app screen will no doubt prove enticing for many brands, while you’ll also have the option to add in a direct link to your website (as opposed to your Insta profile), which could help to drive traffic.
Instagram will need to tread carefully – fill the Stories bar up with too many promoted Stories and that could quickly turn users off – but it could provide to be a good promotional option, expanding the creative options available for your marketing plan.
As noted, Facebook firmly believes that Stories are the future, with all the usage indicators pointing to Stories being the way forward for social media interaction. If that is, in fact, the case, then brands will need to start shifting towards the Stories format for their digital marketing efforts – and given this, you can expect Facebook to continue adding in new tools and options to gather up money from those looking to build their Stories presence.