We Don't Need Stories For Every App

Isaiah McCall

https://img.particlenews.com/image.php?url=3hk3zO_0ZGkKS0800

The internet is ruled by babies. 

These aren’t the Twitter warriors or comment dwellers that live in their parent’s basement, but the big tech companies that aren’t even 10-years old yet. Snapchat is one such company. 

They stormed onto the scene in late-2011 with the goal of turning traditional social media on its head. Snapchat was texting but with selfies. Poses included looking up to the left, looking up to the right, and never direct eye contact into your camera. And with a vast library of filters, anyone could look like Kim Kardashian. 

With 265 million daily active users, it’s safe to say all this worked.

“Snapchat isn’t about capturing the traditional Kodak moment,” said Snapchat co-founder Evan Spiegel. “It’s about communicating with the full range of human emotion — not just what appears to be pretty or perfect.”

However, Snapchat also introduced a parasite to the world. No, not nudes. That was already around beforehand. Snapchat created stories. A feature that every tech company has since appropriated and ruined. 

Instagram announced it was introducing Stories in 2016, followed by YouTube, Facebook, and Skype in 2017. More recently Twitter faced backlash when they debuted their story feature in 2020 (users were fed up with seeing stories on every platform). 

And now, LinkedIn and Spotify have even entered the fray. 

Snapchat opened Pandora’s Box. Stories are as ubiquitous as water. So today, let’s dissect which platforms deserve stories— moreover are worthy of your time and sanity — and which you should avoid this feature entirely. 

LinkedIn

No, nope, nein, and no x 1,000,000.

Why would you want your resume or other valuable career-building content attached to a short-disappearing video? It makes zero sense. 

In the short time they’ve been around, stories on LinkedIn are horrible. There’s spam, get-rich-quick schemes, and occasional motivational posts by Gary Vee. It’s basically what you get on the platform in general nowadays.

LinkedIn is good for one thing and one thing only: Getting in the DMs of someone you want to work for. Yes, it’s as sexy as it sounds. You should message relentlessly employers of companies you admire. It’s landed me several jobs including a few invaluable connections. 

And don’t try to pick up girls. My roommate tried that recently and it blew up in his face. 

YouTube

Stories on YouTube are much more effective than you’d believe, at least one aspect of them is. 

YouTube is the second most popular website in the world, second only to Google (which owns YouTube). A few years back the company, led by Susan Wojcicki, created its own “story” feature. 

This added a few different features under their branch of stories, but here the two most popular:

Stories: Maybe the worst feature out of the bunch because it needs work. YouTube is a direct contrast to TikTok’s 15-second video format. Users click on YouTube videos for minutes, if not hours-on-end if you’re watching a podcast. Stories need to differentiate themself if they’re to last on this platform. 

Community Tab: This started out as a separate tab for subscribers to engage with, but has since become integrated with the Home page. It’s the greatest addition to YouTube since the like button. Creators can post a snippet of text, or a poll, or anything they’d like for it to appear organically in their subscribers' feed. I for one read David Lynch interviews that one of my favorite channels post.

Sign up here to learn more. 

Instagram

Clearly the king of stories is Instagram.

Much of its one billion userbase utilize the feature on a weekly basis. Stories are one of the premier ways to market yourself and your content. However, they’re also doing the most damage to your psyche, according to science. 

Instagram stories are like a stuffed email inbox. We can’t help but empty it, even though we know it's full of spam, junk and will amount to a tremendous waste of time and resources. 

Unless you’re managing a brand, you should avoid IG stories as much as possible. This is because they ruin relationships

In an article titled, ‘The New Dating Requirement: Consuming All of Your Partner’s Content,’ Taylor Lorenz explored the paranoia behind knowing exactly who is watching your story; a feature IG rolled out a few years ago.

“there’s now a clear record of exactly who watched your content and when they did it. Instagram even recently rolled out statuses via Instagram Direct, so you can also see exactly when your partner last opened the app.”

These metrics are best for businesses but creepy for everyone else (and maybe it’s creepy for both). The line is blurred and 24-hour surveillance of your friends and family is the rule, not the exception. 

TikTok

I have a friend that has amassed over four million subscribers on Tiktok. 

You might know him, it’s this guy:

https://img.particlenews.com/image.php?url=1qtn6o_0ZGkKS0800Video from TikTok

That’s the weird thing about internet celebrities. If you don’t know who that is, you’re just like, um, ok, cool. So what?

Either way, TikTok is one gigantic story conglomerate. Videos are never longer than 15-seconds, yet on average, its 700 million users spend 59 minutes on the platform per day. That’s roughly 236 videos watched per person in one day. 

Mamma Mia!

The pressure to churn out viral hit after hit got to my friend after a while. He started confiding in others that “people don’t know the pressure of doing this after you blow up.” 

For TikTok and other story-centric platforms, the pressure to perform is multiplied. You only get 15-seconds to make a hit or users are on to the next hot thing. 

Contrary to popular belief, I do think TikTok is here to stay. It isn’t a flash in the pan as some predict. But making a consistent living on it — even if you’ve amassed millions of followers — is yet to be determined.

Snapchat

The platform struck gold when I was attending college. Instead of asking for someone’s number — which has become something you rarely, if ever ask nowadays — you’d ask for their Snapchat. 

You could continue conversations while making funny faces and flirting to your heart’s content. Nobody cared so much since messages were deleted immediately after opening them.

This is also why stories on Snapchat make the most sense. Snapchat embraces the “flash in the pan” philosophy. Create moments and lose them forever. Live fast and die young. 

It’s no surprise that of its nearly 265 million users the bulk is between the ages of 18- to 24-year-olds. Stories will always work for both users and brands on Snapchat.

Final Thoughts

Spotify, Bumble, and Tinder, among others, are likely to jump onto the story bandwagon in the future. Once something strikes fire in the big tech world, everyone wants a slice of the pie.

Be warned, these apps will make their story features tantalizing and easy to use. Most of them, however, will be a waste of time and resources.

If you want your content to have staying power don’t look for trends, look for staying power. 

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USA Today Reporter and Ultramarathoner. I write about Cryptocurrency, Fitness Hacks, and Greek Philosophy. Also a diehard Trekkie | mccallisaiah@gmail.com

Jersey City, NJ
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