5 things you need to know about Instagram Stories

Instagram and Snapchat are in a constant battle to outsize, out number, and out perform one another in the ephemeral video battle. In its latest move, Instagram launched two Story updates this week. Here’s what you need to know.

1. Instagram Stories has already eclipsed Snapchat in size and scale.
Snapchat may have been first to own the short-lived video game, but Instagram Stories hit 200 million daily active users in early 2017, surpassing Snapchat’s 166 million daily active users.

2. Instagram announced two types of new Stories features: Location Stories and Hashtag Stories.
To keep up, Snapchat rolled out custom Stories, where you can create collaborative stories with your friends and nearby users. Why? Instagram and Snapchat are trying to figure out how to keep you in their apps longer.

3. Location Stories: (Rolling out now.) Users can search for any city, town, landmark, or local business and see a story tied to that particular location. To create content tied to location-based stories, users must have public privacy settings enabled and use Instagram’s location sticker on their story for it to be searchable.

4. Hashtag Stories: (Rolling out in the coming weeks.) Users can search hashtags to see a story tied to that particular hashtag. Users must have public privacy settings enabled and use a hashtag on their Instagram story via the text feature for it to be searchable.

5. Instagram Stories remain entirely algorithmic. This is unlike at Snapchat where human editors are curating content to add to a particular story. Location-based or hashtag-based Stories will surface to a users account based on who they interact with and follow.

Key takeaways: As we continue to apply social media best practices in higher education, colleges and universities can tap into this platform update in two ways:

1. Owned content (using the social channels you own as a brand). Schools will want to add a location or hashtag to thestories they publishfrom their own accounts so their content can be publicly viewed if users (like prospective students) search for a particular location or landmark to sniff out campus or culture.

2. Earned content (when users or followers voluntarily share content). Schools should urge fans and followers (current students, faculty/staff, and alumni) to add a location or hashtag to their individual stories, like when they are at a campus event, so a school’s landmark or location has a robust curation of content viewable to prospective students or fans who are checking out a college or university.

Read more at Mashable.