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Instagram Stories Are Officially a Success (And What That Means for Marketers)

Yesterday, two months after introducing Instagram Stories, Instagram announced that it will now include Instagram Stories in the Explore feature.

More than 100 million people visit Explore every day to discover photos and videos from people they don’t yet follow. The new suggested stories section highlights the most interesting stories from across Instagram’s vast global community — and like the rest of Explore, the stories you’ll see are personalized to your interests.

What this means is that the sometimes-doubted-by-experts feature (“Isn’t this basically like Snapchat? I already have an app for that!”) has been successful for Instagram, unlike other features (Instagram Zoom, Boomerang, Hyperlapse, I’m looking at you) that haven’t experienced the same massive adoption.

  • Instagram Stories have 100 million daily active viewers. (This number will grow much, much bigger as Instagram Stories debut in Explore. Side note: we’re moving towards a future in which we’ll stop referring to social users altogether, and instead refer to social viewers).
  • This is 2/3 of Snapchat’s DAU’s, and Instagram Stories have only been alive for two months

Instagram is bringing Instagram Stories into the fold, so to speak, by including Instagram Stories in its Explore feature–where so much brand discovery happens. Here’s what this means for the social marketer.

  1. If you’re not using Instagram Stories already, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity for brand awareness. You could reach a whole new (target) audience by regularly releasing content on this free feature.
  2. By the way, brand discovery on Instagram Stories will lead to more followers. This will lead to more goal completions, whether that means site visits, opt-ins, or straight-up sales for your brand.
  3. Instagram Stories now has another leg-up on Snapchat. While offering brands exposure with filters and featured content for the chosen few big brands, Snapchat makes brand discovery notoriously difficult. Instagram Stories on Explore makes it easy. That’s better for your brand.
  4. Instagram Stories will only grow. Unlike a standalone app (and this is the smart move that Instagram made with Instagram Stories, but did not make with previous features like Boomerang and Hyperlapse), Instagram users are continuing to be exposed to Instagram Stories whether or not they’re using the feature. Featuring Instagram Stories on Explore will only expand this exposure and increase the likelihood of non-adopters getting on board.
  5. You don’t have to give up Snapchat. You can multi-task. If you have limited time/resources, use your saved snaps from Snapchat as Instagram Stories. Tap the Download button on Snapchat. Open Instagram, start a Story, and swipe down. Tap on your snap and post to your Instagram Story.

How is your brand using Instagram Stories? What will be the consequences of Instagram’s move to include Instagram Stories in the Explore area? Let us know in the comments below and download our guide to measuring digital brand impact below to understand if your brand is expanding awareness the way it needs to.

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Lucy Hitz

I’m the Head of Marketing Communications here at Simply Measured, where I'm responsible for our content program, social media marketing, PR, and comarketing ventures. I love yoga, The X-Files, peaty scotch, hiking, and poetry. If I were a social media channel, I’d want to be Instagram, but I think I’m Twitter.

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