Facebook, Skype, and YouTube all saw the “story” format of media added back in 2017. Coming from seemingly nowhere, these little bite-size pieces of content have been a bit of a hit with social media users. For people who haven’t been keeping up with the newest developments within social media, they can be a little confusing! So, what are stories, where do they come from, and what’s the best way to use them?
People who are familiar with SnapChat may find it weird to hear stories as a “newest development;” after all, they’ve had the feature available to them since 2012! It wasn’t until 2017, however, where the story format started to creep into Facebook, Skype, and YouTube, where some people had their first encounter with the format.
The name “stories” is a little misleading, as these aren’t actual stories. In fact, stories depend more on visual elements such as photos and stickers than text-based stories. Regardless, they’ve become a popular feature, so much so that other social sites are adding their own story-based features.
What Do Stories Do?
Stories are a little weird compared to regular content. For one, they don’t show up directly in users’ feeds by default. If someone wants to view the stories you create, they have to manually access them. Different apps and sites have different ways of displaying new story notifications; for instance, Instagram has icons of users who have created stories along the top, and users can tap them to see the stories.
Secondly, any stories you do make aren’t around forever! Twenty-four hours after posting, the stories automatically delete themselves. This is what makes stories a little more unique than regular status updates –their lack of permanence means they fit a difference niche than normal updates.
When Is It Best to Use Stories?
If you’re thinking about using stories yourself, it’s a good idea to use them properly so you don’t get disappointed with them. When used correctly, they can be a lot of fun!
Stories Are Great For:
- Small daily updates. Did the waiter bring you some good-looking food? Find a cute cat on the street? Snap it and upload it as a story. It won’t clog up your follower’s feeds; only those who actively seek out your dailies will see your beautiful lasagna.
- Silly images. Stories typically come with stickers and filters to make your photos a little more fun. If you feel like making funny photos and sharing them with your friends, stories are perfect for this. Not only do they let you do fun things with your images, but it keeps them off of your friend’s feeds so they’re not inundated with you wearing silly shade stickers!
- Updates you want to delete later. Are you hanging out at a specific place for a short period of time and want others to know? Make it a story, and it’ll delete itself after twenty-four hours. Some sites with stories allow you to manually post them to your timeline, so you can get all of the attention and none of the permanence.
Stories Aren’t So Good For:
- Serious updates. Because they don’t appear on the main feed, people can easily miss them. Then, after twenty-four hours, they’re gone for good! It’s best to use a proper status update when you want to say something to all your friends and ensure they catch it.
- Long text-based updates. Stories can support text, but their main forte is photos. If you want to share a quick text update, stories can do the job fine. Anything longer and you might want to consider using a regular update instead.
- Anything you want to save for longer than twenty-four hours. Think you’ll want to go back to this memory at a future date? Put it on your timeline proper so that it’ll still be around when you need it.
Stories have been around for a little while, but it was only recently adopted by other, larger social websites. Now you know what stories are and how to best use them.
Do you think you’ll get good use out of stories? Let us know below!
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