Two years ago, Instagram had a problem.
It was 2016, and everyone’s Instagram feeds were picture perfect.
Phenomenal images and videos of food, travel, style, and friends flooded the newsfeed. People’s profiles were curated masterpieces that they spent hours (and in some wild cases, thousands of dollars) perfecting.
‘Doing it for the gram’ justified immeasurable numbers of unashamed posing, adventure-seeking, food-consuming behavior.*
But it was too perfect. The highlight reel began to feel unattainable –– and intimidating. People had more to share, but they held back. The decision whether or not to post was akin to, ‘would I hang this on my living room wall and invite guests in to stare at it?’.
Stories came in and blew that one right out of the water.
“It unlocked the real time, real life stories that everyone was craving, but didn’t want to commit to hanging on their wall forever.
It became the main way people consumed and shared the moments that mattered –– and rewrote the rules for brands who wanted to build relationships with them.
Because as much as everyone loves a crispy gram, they also want to see what’s real. How the story really happened, what the people are truly like. To take the shiny veneer off and just go back to being humans, telling stories to other humans. With GIFs. That’s the stuff that resonates.
Instagram was never really in trouble. But if they didn’t pivot when they did, the reality is… they could have been.
So, as Instagram Stories turned two this month, the question goes... Stories: the Greatest of All Time?
Here's something fun to click on from Recode on Stories, Instagram, and cookie recipes (you’ll see).
*Side note: this is all said with zero judgement, as a human who has had several meals/adventures/roads less traveled… for the gram. I don’t only understand it, I’m here for it.