TikTok Stories: A game changer or just another copycat feature?
At the moment it feels like TikTok and Instagram are constantly competing for our attention. First, we saw Instagram introduce Reels to mimic TikTok’s success and more recently, TikTok has announced that they are testing Instagram style stories.
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Earlier this month, Social media consultant and TikTok spokesperson Matt Navarra posted this update on Twitter.
what the… 😳 pic.twitter.com/PIUpKMhj0k
— Matt Navarra (@MattNavarra) August 4, 2021
Stories will live in a new slide-over sidebar, where you’ll be able to see stories posted by accounts that you follow on TikTok for 24 hours before they’re automatically deleted. Just like on Instagram, users will be able to react and comment on your story.
TikTok describes this as “a new way to interact with your fans”. However, unlike Instagram, TikTok is sticking to its roots by allowing only video content to be shown in these stories. Another difference is that comments will be made public, rather than going into the users DMs. This could potentially be a game-changer for brands and users on the app — it opens up the door for more engagement transparency and two-way conversations in Stories.
The fact that the app is testing a ‘Stories’ feature comes as no surprise really. We’ve seen it work well on Instagram for a few years now, Facebook also has their own story feature and Snapchat’s entire app is based on the success of 24-hour stories and short-lived, disappearing content.
Will it be a game-changer?
When they work, stories are a great way to get users to interact with each other on an app, offer a new place for ads, allow users up to date with the latest news and friends updates, as well as having the ability to keep users coming back to the app. According to Instagram themselves, over 500 million users utilize Instagram stories on a daily basis and approximately 86.6% of Instagram’s users post stories every day.
However, adding stories isn’t always a success, we’re looking at you Twitter! After just 8 months, Twitter recently shut down their stories attempt – creatively named Fleets – due to the lack of use and general negativity towards the feature.
we’re removing Fleets on August 3, working on some new stuff
we’re sorry or you’re welcome
— Twitter (@Twitter) July 14, 2021
It will be interesting to see how TikTok’s latest feature will go down once it’s pushed out to all users. What we will likely see is users duplicating content on both platforms, like we are already seeing with TikTok being posted as Reels. I think if they are used as a way for content creators and brands to increase engagement and build a strong community, I think they may work well. However for the general public, I think people will still favour Instagram stories, it’s familiar.