You’ve probably heard the buzz about Instagram Stories, a new feature from Instagram that allows the platform to compete head-to-head with Snapchat. If you’re a loyal Snapchat user, you definitely gave Instagram a side-eye when this addition was released on Aug. 2.

Instagram Stories lets you post a group of photos or short videos that expire after 24 hours, and Instagram decided to place this feature atop your news feed. You can upload photos, GIFs and hyperlapses,too.

You can also select a specific audience for your stories by choosing who can or can’t see each video. Now you have different ways to engage and segment your audience! But slightly more than a month since the rollout, Instagram still must improve Stories. What’s missing are the cool filters and other Snapchat features, and videos sometimes load slowly.

You may be asking, “How does any of this apply to me or my brand?” or “Why do I have to start using another platform?”

Answer: You have about eight seconds to attract and keep a viewer’s attention online. Many people prefer and were taught to consume short or “micro” video. Because video has never been easier to create, you don’t have to be an expert editor to produce videos that people want to consume. All you need are the app, a smartphone and a selfie stick or tripod.

If you plan to use Snapchat or Instagram in your business, you’ll want to revisit our blog. For the next few weeks, we’ll share ideas on how to use these platforms to your advantage, and we’ll discuss whether you need to use them at all.

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