It all began with Snapchat. Now WhatsApp, Instagram & Facebook are hopping on (stole) the same concept from Snapchat. These giant social companies are incorporating Snapchat’s original concept on the social platforms that we use more often than we would like to admit. Stories are everywhere. Very soon even Microsoft applications would launch stories as a new feature ;).
Back in 2013, Mark Zuckerberg offered to buy Snapchat for $3 billion in cash. This deal was rejected. 4 years later, Snapchat’s CEO, Evan Spiegel is worth $6 billion – that’s a higher net worth than Donald Trump & Tim Cook combined! Facebook figured that since it couldn’t acquire Snapchat, they could mimic unique features of Snapchat that have been proactively accepted by their target market. Mills Baker, a former Facebook product designer spoke out and said many workers at Facebook don’t feel that they were copying Snapchat’s unique “innovations” as they were more of “commodity features” with benefits that would cause Facebook to lose out if ignored. You can check out Baker’s full address here.
So what exactly are stories?
Stories are still images or a brief video with personalisation sent to friends. This personalisation can come in the form of a caption, doodle or filter. There is a catch though, these stories broadcasted to your friends only lasts 24 hours.
Why is this feature popping up on so many social platforms?
1. Reactive Filters & Personalisation
Most social media users tend to portray the best (distorted) version of themselves online. The simple logic behind that would be that every individual wants to be & feel special. Using stories, individuals are given an additional platform to do so. Everyone can use personalisation tools to make the image they broadcast uniquely theirs. Everyone is able to utilise reactive filters that mix things up by allowing you to look like a cute bear.. racoon.. puppy or a scary witch.. or a pretty girl post surgery.. who wouldn’t want this?
2. Low Effort, High Captivation
Time is more valuable than money. Keeping up to date with all your social media “friends” can be tiring if you have to read all the wordy posts.. or scroll through the entire album of their latest event. Why not just watch a short clip on the highlights of their day? It’ll be like you were there with them – you can see & hear everything they saw and heard. You are up to speed in a matter of a few seconds.
3. Unavailability & Mystery
The fact that these updates from friends disappear over the next 24 hours, may play a subconscious effect on our minds. This would lead to users to load broadcasted stories before scrolling down the newsfeed. Newsfeed images/videos would always be there (unless deleted on purpose by the owner). Broadcasted stories become unavailable to view after a day. Its a bit like the concept of limited edition products. Make a regular cheeseburger everyday and your demand is alright. Add a different flavoured sauce (truffle for example) to the cheeseburger and call it limited edition, you’ll see queues forming in no time.
Do you guys have any preference for usage on either platform? Leave a comment below & share your thoughts!