If you're not an Instagram user you may not have heard of 'Stories.' They are vertical photos or videos with a duration of no more than fifteen seconds per clip. You can post multiple 15 second clips in a row as well.

The unique part is that they vanish after 24 hours of posting. Stories are not displayed in a user's feed but rather at the top of a user's app when they're logged in. Users "tap through them" to view the set.

When Stories were first introduced the company limited their access making them available only to users with verified accounts who met a certain number of followers threshold. Instagram has now removed those restrictions by opening Stories up to all user accounts.

This is great news indeed if you're an Instagram user or if you own a small business and you're looking for a way to leverage the power of Instagram to expand your business. 'Stories' is a good tool to leverage.

Instagram has been pushing hard to innovate. Increased pressure from upstarts like TikTok prompted them to develop 'Reels' for Instagram which are short 15-second video clips that can be posted with other clips and introduced to your feed. And now Stories can include video clips created and shared as a Reel but they have a shorter lifespan.

CEO Mark Zuckerberg had this to say related to the change:

"Reels is already the primary driver of engagement growth on Instagram. It's incredibly entertaining and I think there is a huge amount of potential ahead. We expect this to continue growing and I am optimistic that this will be as important for our products as Stories is. We also expect to make significant changes to Instagram and Facebook in the next year to further lean into video and make Reels a more central part of the experience."

If you're not currently leveraging the power of Instagram you might want to consider. Its certainly worth doing a demographics study of your customers to see if they're present in significant number on the platform and if so taking advantage of that fact.

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