“The Stories format is on a path to surpass feeds as the primary way people share things with their friends.”
-Chris Cox, Facebook’s Chief Product Officer
Last week at the F8 developer conference, Facebook confirmed what I’ve been writing about the past several weeks: Vertical content is the future. Mark Zuckerburg followed up on Cox’s statement on the role Stories will play in the future at the biggest social network in the world by promising to make ads on Stories just as good as they are in the feeds.
“If we don’t do this well, then as more sharing shifts to Stories, that could hurt our business,” Zuckerburg said.
Say what you will about Zuckerburg, but when he sees major shifts in this industry, he usually makes the right moves to keep Facebook on top. So with that said, let’s dive into the new changes coming to Stories that marketers can leverage to squash their competition on social.
A new way to share
Posting screenshots of your favorite songs is history.
Last week, Facebook rolled out the ability for apps to let users share content directly to Stories. Users can now upload songs from Spotify and content from GoPro directly to Stories. The best part: You don’t have to connect your Instagram account to other apps in order to do this. Facebook promised that more apps with this new sharing feature are coming soon.
This new feature arrived just in time for enabling us to have a fun way to share our Spring playlist!
TechCrunch is also reporting that a new Stories Sticker is coming soon. This is awesome news because whether you want to share a song matching your vibe, or add a score to your content, music stickers will help content creators add a layer of quality that will no doubt be a huge hit with users.
Stories are coming to the News Feed
Adam Mosseri, Facebook’s VP of News Feed, weighed in on changes marketers have noticed on the News Feed while adding yet another reason everyone needs to master the vertical format. Stories will be popping up in between links, photos, and videos we’re accustomed to seeing as we scroll through the News Feed.
“Stories is the big focus for us this year in sharing,” Mosseri said.
New Stories confirmed to be coming to your News Feed will include Profile Picture, Birthday, Group, and Event Stories.
Since profile pictures get the most engagement in the News Feed, Facebook is working on a way to “make a story out of a profile picture.”
Facebook’s also looking to develop a way to help users contribute to collaborative birthday Stories and send friends best wishes.
Most importantly for content marketers, Facebook announced they are currently experimenting with Group and Event Stories, enabling users to contribute to a single Story feed.
Have you seen a dip in engagement and reach on Facebook? Set up a Group for your most active members because Facebook wants communities to see content they enjoy and Group Stories are about to present a major opportunity for Page admins to get the Reach they’ve been missing with a new content format.
The Event Stories are expected to be akin to geographic collections of content seen on Snapchat’s Snap Map. This would collect all the publicly posted images and videos from an event into one Facebook Story feed.
It’s not too late to go vertical
I recently wrote about the Facebook’s AR drawing feature for Stories that is now live globally, so get out there and start experimenting! Need some creative inspiration for your ephemeral content? I’ve got your back. Watch my five favorite recent Stories I documented here for you to always reference when looking to emulate the best brands on Instagram.
Stories is all about finding new ways to reach audiences and experiment with what works. Facebook and Instagram have made it easy to improve content quality with sharing Spotify songs, Giphy stickers, AR filters, 3D drawing tools, and more. Mastering this content today will free up time when you’ll need to conduct community management in virtual reality down the road.