• Stories came out a couple of years ago. Obviously the most successful thing that Instagram has released since Instagram, huge success, in a lot of ways is cannibalized the feed. It's changed the way we interact with the app. We put out a little data story on our Instagram recently, showing the average percentage of story reach per following tier. Interesting to go into that. If you haven't taken a look at it, Brian can throw it up but also check it out.

    In general if you're not following our Instagram, you should, we're putting out these data stories at least once a week. We're starting to see a huge shift to stories. There was a request in Instagram to do an episode on stories. We are working on that now, so that will be coming so I'm not going to talk about tips and how to optimize and get more reach on your stories, but important to think about what is happening here in Instagram as a platform in general.

    When Instagram started it was a way to connect with your friends or mostly it was a way to connect with your friends. It was bought by Facebook because any app that comes out that's about sharing photos with your friends, Facebook will buy. You want to get acquired by Facebook, build a successful app that's all around sharing photos with your friends and they will fucking buy you because they understand that that is at their core, their core competency and their competitive advantage.

    Is that like for better or worse, the world has changed in a way that like that is how you keep up with people and so they want to own any app where you communicate with your friends with photos. WhatsApp was bought because there were more photos being sent on WhatsApp every day than there were being published on Instagram when WhatsApp got bought, so they snapped it up.

    Snapchat, obviously all about sharing photos with your friends. They wanted to buy it. They got rebuffed and they just copied it, whoops. As Instagram became a bigger thing, as it had a bigger place in culture, it gets more professional, it gets more produced, it gets more serious. People were making money off of it. There's ads, there's all of these things and every day it becomes a little bit less about keeping up with your friends. How many of you are shooting content a week before you're publishing it on Instagram? Two weeks before.
    Well, that's not really doing much if I'm your friend for me to know what you're doing to see a photo of you three weeks ago. Then you start going to stories because that is real time. That is where I can actually learn. What did you have for dinner last night? Who is out late drinking? Who is up early working out? Who is traveling? Who got a promotion? Who is sad about this? Who's sharing some meme?

    That is where you stay connected and the content that you create there, I think the reason we haven't yet seen stories take over into this hyper produced little mini-movies is that still for most people the benefit is creating an app and showing what you're doing. Just think about that. When Instagram started, it was an absolute no, no to upload professional photos. You had to shoot the photo that you were going to publish to Instagram in-app. When was the last fucking time you shot a photo in-app and published it? Probably six years ago, maybe.
    Stories brings back this place where you're creating in-app. It has to be in the moment. By design, it's going to be in the moment and that's what makes it so interesting. As you think about that content, you think about stories, think about that connection. I heard Evan Spiegel, the founder of Snapchat talking recently and he said that he thinks of social media like a pyramid. At the bottom of the pyramid, how many people are creating content? At the bottom of the pyramid, he had talking to friends. That's Snapchat.

    Snapchat's about talking to friends. That's something that every person has a desire to do, to stay connected to the people that they love. Snapchat, they see themselves as a communication app, not social media. He said one step up is like social media, which is all about clout. It's all about some form of showing off. It's likes, it's comments, it's followers, it's beautiful photos. It is a little bit more intimidating, it's something that less people are willing to do.
    There are a lot of people that are lurkers on Instagram but don't post in feed or they have private accounts they don't post to so it's a little harder. Then you have TikTok at the top. and TikTok is in a lot of ways about talent. It's not about you at all, it's about your ability to be funny, your ability to learn and dance, your ability to riff on this meme. That's something that is very intimidating for most people.

    If you look at TikTok as entertainment, which it is, the appetite for consuming entertainment is massive. The amount of people that can be entertaining is a lot smaller. TikTok, again, it's not about sharing your life, it's not about connecting with friends. The creator pool is much smaller because it feels like everything you create needs to be something that could be seen by 10 million people. Whereas with an Instagram story, you know that's going to be seen by really just the people that we really care about and obviously sending a Snapchat to five friends, you know it's being seen by those five friends so it keeps it more authentic.

    It's an interesting thing to think about and as you think about all of these platforms, there are different things that make sense for them and it is why you can't take your Instastories, download them and put them into a TikTok and have that work. It is why a brand can't take their magazine ads and put them into Instagram and have that work. It is why if you probably shot your Instagram photos in camera and published it to your feed, it probably wouldn't be great.
    If you like, "You know what? I'm only using Valencia filter this year. That is it." That time has probably passed as well. Each platform and each feature in each platform has its own specific use, but important to remember why they were built and what drives engagement on these things.
    Episode #183
    - Instagram alternatives, leveraging demographics, bespoke content