Instagram Stories | A Feature To Rival Snapchat

Instagram has boldly taken a leaf out of Snapchat’s book by launching a new Stories feature which allows users to upload photo/video content with a 24-hour lifespan.

Dubbed as “Snapchat for adults“, Instagramers can now share multiple moments in the form of a personalised story. Instagram has always prided itself on being a highly-curated platform dominated by design-led, stylised imagery. With this new feature, users can now continue to update their followers in a more reactive way without the worry of producing perfectly filtered content that has a shelf life.

At the top of your news feed, you should now be able to see featured stories from the people you follow. A colourful ring appears around a user’s profile photo when they’ve posted a story. Simply, tap to view. You can replay these 10-second stories as many times as you like within the 24-hour window and can react to the content via direct message. Stories can be shared privately with a friend or publicly to your followers.

It all sounds very familiar doesn’t it? When confronted about the feature being a blatant rip-off of Snapchat Stories, Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom responded to Techcrunch “They deserve all the credit,” but insisted “This isn’t about who invented something. This is about a format, and how you take it to a network and put your own spin on it.”

Facebook acquired Instagram back in 2012 for $1 billion, and attempted to buy Snapchat for $3 billion in 2013; an offer which was rejected by Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel. It appears they’ve found a way around this bump in the road with Instagram Stories; combining two app features into one! Instagram has great appeal for marketers as it boasts a much broader reach than Snapchat with 300 million daily users and access to all demographics. The app has also been developed into a brand-friendly interface with the recent rollout of business profiles and the introduction of sponsored ad campaigns and analytics. Brands can now continue to nurture the mature audience that they’ve grown on the platform and engage with them in a more visually candid and memorable way.

It will be interesting to see how this new format plays out and how brands will integrate ephemeral marketing into their social media strategy. Digital storytelling continues to evolve and there has been an evident shift in the demand for real-time content consumption and behind-the-scenes snapshots. Today’s audiences identify most with authentic brand communication and relatable, user-generated content. Instagram Stories now provides a golden opportunity for brands to leverage digital influencers to create a more personal and trustworthy feel to their content.

what3words pinpoint your location?

A new app called what3words has divided the world into 57 trillion 3m by 3m squares and labelled each location with a random three word address.

How many times have you lost sight of your mates at a music festival and can’t communicate your exact location? Or had to painstakingly direct the postman to your unmarked address?

British start-up what3words have come to the rescue and have made finding precise locations much more memorable. The company claim the system is far more accurate than an address street name, house number or postcode and let’s face it none of us can easily recall lat/long coordinates!

what3words was co-founded by Chris Sheldrick who previously ran a business organising and managing large scale music events around the globe. “This whole idea came from me giving an address, let’s say of a site entrance at a festival or event venue, to a load of musicians and suppliers and seeing the carnage that ensued when people put that into whatever their mapping app or sat nav was,” says Sheldrick. “They used to show up at all sorts of places – none of which were correct.”

FullSizeRenderHaving downloaded the app, we can now navigate you to our head office in Byron Bay with the 3 words, hikers.hangouts.televise. All we have to do is simply share our pin location and other users can gain detailed directions to our premises.

According to the site, a staggering 75% of the world (135 countries) suffers from inconsistent, complicated or inadequate addressing systems. This means that 4 billion people are currently off-grid. Mongolia will become the first country to adopt this new postal system which is set to dramatically improve their efficiency in terms of tourism, deliveries and e-commerce.

Many individuals and businesses are now using the platform and this will only become more widespread in line with increased investment in the company. This year, Glastonbury Festival which has a whopping capacity of 135,000 successfully implemented what3words for equipment drop-off, first aid and helping festival-goers find their tents.

The site is currently serving 9 languages worldwide with imminent plans to expand into the wider Asian market. The potential of this groundbreaking technology is mind-blowing and is quickly on its way to making the world more accessible than ever before.

Source – what3words, Collective Hub, The Guardian

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