How many of your friends use Instagram Stories? Probably most of them, right? You know how annoying it is when they do this, right? Well, Instagram wants you to stop posting everything you do as a Story—and they’re putting their money where their mouth is by launching ads to discourage it. Here’s the scoop. Instagram Wants You to Stop Posting Everything You Do as a Story

What are Stories?

Instagram Stories is an ephemeral video and photo sharing feature that is quickly becoming one of Instagram’s most popular features. All you have to do is swipe right from your home screen and click on stories, or you can search for them using their specific hashtags. Stories works similar to Snapchat in that it allows users to record up to twenty seconds of footage, but once it’s over, it’s gone forever (or at least until someone screenshots it). It also allows users to post text and drawings over top of their photos and videos, so there are plenty of creative opportunities out there if you want them.

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Why did I get the feature?

The Instagram update is meant to encourage people posting more on their stories while stopping them from overwhelming followers with posts. Before, it was common for users with large followings to post their story after doing something. Some companies also did stunts like setting up an in-store appearance and then uploading it immediately afterwards. They’re commonly referred to as brand stories because they were often posted by businesses rather than individuals. The hope was that it would drive traffic to either their social media accounts or website, but Instagram says its data shows otherwise — users don’t actually click on those links that often, which means Instagram’s algorithm won’t favor those posts in your feed over other content.

Instagram Wants You to Stop Posting Everything You Do as a Story
Instagram Wants You to Stop Posting Everything You Do as a Story

How does it affect my account and followers?

If you don’t use Stories, nothing will change. If you do use Stories, you’ll need to come up with a new posting strategy. Like Facebook and Twitter, Instagram is encouraging users to share only their best content—and it wants your friends or followers see everything that isn’t worth sharing but is still worth keeping. This means: • Show your followers your best photos of that special trip you took, not your many blurry or uninteresting ones. • Use Instagram’s photo-taking tools (like face filters) or videos creatively and sparingly instead of sticking with just plain old shots.

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Why should I use it?

While there’s no denying that Instagram Stories is one of 2016’s biggest social media trends, it might not be right for your brand. Before jumping on board, consider how often you post on Instagram and whether or not it makes sense to continue using direct posts and shares in addition to your Stories. If you find yourself trying to fit all of your content into just one platform, you may be spreading yourself too thin—particularly if you only have a handful of followers. Instead, consider scaling back on posts and spending some time building up an audience on Instagram before relying so heavily on Stories. If users see that they missed something without following you directly, they may follow you in order to keep up with your feed from now on.

What can be done with it?

Instagram has begun testing new Close Friends sharing options that allow users to share private photos and videos directly with specific groups of people. At launch, Instagram will include two new sharing options within its stories feature, including Send to Close Friends and Send to Specific People. If a user elects to send content directly from their story (like sending a photo via Direct Message), it will be shared only with those who are in their close friends list. This allows Instagram users more privacy for some of their most personal moments, although all your Stories are still public by default.

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How should I use it in my marketing strategy?

Instagram Stories have grown into one of the platform’s most useful features. Before they launched, influencers had no real way to build an audience—and now they can reach nearly 500 million followers on Instagram. But now, Instagram is encouraging brands and influencers not only to create more video content (and soon IGTV), but also limit how often you post content via Stories. Here are three examples: Now that you’ve built up your followers, use Stories less frequently in favor of posting more photos instead. Remember those influencer marketing tips we just mentioned? Using Stories for brand awareness will help drive you new opportunities and partnerships with brands looking for people like you. In fact, using Instagram Stories is one of our top tips for influencers!

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