What Are Instagram Stories?

Instagram Stories is a feature within the Instagram app that allows users to post photos and videos that vanish after 24 hours. Unlike posts to a user’s profile, stories do not appear in the Instagram feed; instead, they are displayed at the top of an active user’s app and can be viewed by tapping on them. This feature, inspired by Snapchat, was introduced in 2016 and has since become a popular way for individuals and businesses to share more spontaneous and engaging content.

Features of Instagram Stories

1. Visual Content

Users can upload images or videos to their story. These visuals can be enhanced with various filters, text overlays, stickers, and drawing tools to make them more engaging.

2. Interactivity

Instagram Stories offers interactive elements such as polls, question boxes, and swipe-up links (available to accounts with over 10,000 followers or verified accounts), which can drive more user interaction and engagement.

3. Highlights

Although stories disappear after 24 hours, users can choose to save select stories to their profile as “Highlights.” These Highlights remain on the user’s profile and can be organized into themed folders, making them accessible beyond the original 24-hour window.

Benefits of Instagram Stories for Marketing

  1. Increased Engagement: The temporary nature of stories encourages more frequent viewing since users know the content will soon disappear.
  2. Greater Reach: Stories are prominently displayed at the top of the app, often resulting in higher visibility compared to regular posts.
  3. Authenticity: The informal and ephemeral format allows brands to share more personal and behind-the-scenes content, which can help humanize their brand and build a stronger connection with their audience.
  4. Promotions and Announcements: Companies use stories for timely promotions and announcements that encourage quick action from their followers.


Instagram Stories is a dynamic feature that caters to the growing demand for quick, engaging, and less polished content from brands and personal users alike. Its ability to capture real-time content and foster interactive engagements presents a unique opportunity for marketers looking to maintain relevance and strengthen relationships with their audience. By effectively utilizing this tool, brands can enhance their visibility, engage with followers in creative ways, and promote their products or services in an authentic and personal manner.