The era of visual communication has been with us for quite some time now. But sharing and publishing through stories has been growing exponentially over the last year. Block Party, a consulting firm in tech, says that the creation and consumption of stories has grown by 842% since 2016. The consultancy firm also notes that almost a billion accounts on Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook, and WhatsApp are now creating and enjoying these ephemeral slideshows.
The success of stories has not gone unnoticed. During the F8 developer conference, The chief product officer at Facebook Chris Cox showed a chart that demonstrated the exponential growth of the stories format. The growth has been so fast that the format has now surpassed feeds as the main way users share information with their friends on social media.
These developments could have a number of implications. First, it’s clear that many users are now conscious of how every moment could easily be glorified and included in their overall narrative of the day. In addition to this, we are seeing many social media platforms retiring their old designs in favor of highlighting users’ stories and their photos.
WhatsApp Stories for instance recorded over 450 million daily users. Instagram, on the other hand, attracts 350 million daily users while Facebook comes third with 70 million daily users. The Block Party report revealed that out of the total 191 million daily Snapchat users, 150 million use stories. In total, there are about 970 million story users. Based on these numbers, Block Party believes that this is the format of the future for social media platforms.
Data released by the consultancy firm found that stories grew 15 times faster than feed sharing from the second quarter of 2016 to the third quarter of 2017. That’s doesn’t even include usage stats for Google’s new AMP Stories for news, YouTube’s Stories feature, and Netflix’s Stories designed for mobile movie previews.
Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg said during an earnings call last week that the social media company is currently working to make sure that ads are as good on stories as they are on the feed. According to Zuckerberg, more and more people are now sharing through stories. Therefore, Facebook needs to adapt to this or it will risk hurting its business. Zuckerberg made it clear that Facebook is already working on a plan to monetize stories in the near future.
Stories were first created by Snapchat but then spread out quickly to other social media platforms. Although so far there has been significant success, there’s still a lot being done in the background to improve the user experience. Snapchat, for example, is working on a plan that could sort out stories based on publishers. The aim is to have stories from friends on one category and from professional creators on the other. In addition to this, Facebook is looking into ways through which third-party apps like Spotify can be allowed to use stories. It’s a long way to go but things are looking good so far.