Paul Hanrahan
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Social media stories are having a moment on nearly every network, but what are they and how can they work for your organisation?

When social media first emerged, timelines ran in chronological order. Ten years on, pictures and posts come to the top of your feed based on algorithms that decide what is most important to the user.

Now, on top of this, we have social media stories. Sitting outside the timelines of networks, stories enable users to collate a group of pictures or video, annotated with music or a narrative if they wish. They often have a short shelf life, many disappear after 24 hours.

The pioneer in the field was Snapchat but Instagram soon followed. The trend is spreading and looks set to continue.

So why would you need to post stories when you can share video and images on your account’s main page?

Well, they’re a more tangible and time-sensitive approach and great for wrapping up a snapshot of a recent event or occasion. Their visual focus makes them a perfect tool for arts and cultural organisations. And they’re very popular with younger audiences, so well worth exploring if your organisation is planning to expand your user base.

We’ll be looking at stories on key social media channels over the next several weeks. Stay tuned for more from this series to help you explore how you can tell your stories differently.


The full series is now published. Check out the other stories on Stories:

Main image credit: Storytime by Keoni Cabral (CC BY 2.0)