The Stories function. Most social media platforms have them. It began with Snapchat, followed by Instagram and then Facebook. Now, it’s Twitter’s turn.

Earlier this week, Twitter announced they would be launching a new Stories format called ‘Fleets’. Currently being tested in Brazil, the function is expected to roll out to other countries if it is proven to be successful.

The name Fleets is derived from the term ‘fleeting thoughts’ and unlike standard tweets, Fleets will disappear after 24 hours and are unable to receive retweets, likes and public replies. Instead, they can only be reacted to through the use of direct messages. The disappearing tweets can only be viewed by tapping on a user’s profile picture. Although seemingly similar to the usual Stories format, Fleets have a few differences, making the experience more focused on gaining an insight into the user's thoughts.

So, with almost every social media platform hopping on the Stories bandwagon, what are the benefits of implementing a feature like this?

No Need to Beat the Algorithm

Instagram in particular, is notoriously known for its unbeatable algorithm. By using the Stories feature across all social media platforms,you don’t have to try and ‘beat’ any tricky algorithms by posting at certain times of the day, or with an endless stream of hashtags.

This feature is sat at the very top of the home feed on both Facebook and Instagram, meaning it gets seen before any main feed posts and pictures. Simply add another frame to the Story to be bumped to the front! Although short-lived and disappear after just 24 hours, the Stories function allows you to post as many frames as you’d like, providing zero restrictions in terms of content length.

Increased Engagement

The use of Stories helps to maintain and increase engagement with followers and consumers. The feature allows brands and influencers to communicate without interrupting their main feed or timeline.

Stories allow you to engage with followers in a completely different way. Rather than relying on likes and comments for feedback, Stories allows you to get personal with your audience. Share your location, tag other users as well as share gifs, stickers, polls and question submission boxes. All of these are a great way to interact with followers on a more personal level. You can also get creative with a variety of text and font styles, as well as backgrounds, without disrupting the theme of your main grid. Now, many brands are using the Stories feature to collaborate on sponsored posts with influencers.

500 million accounts use Instagram Stories every day - yep, you’ve read that right! With 86.6% of Instagrammers posting to Instagram Stories, and brands using main posts and Stories almost equally, features like this could be the way forwards to help boost engagement.

Website Traffic

For those with over 10,000 followers on a business profile, you will have access to a swipe-up feature on Instagram. When using Stories to talk about new products, provide sneak peeks or announce any exciting information relating to your blog, YouTube channel or brand site, you can apply the swipe-up feature. This allows followers to swipe-up and be taken straight to the relevant website, blog post or campaign page - an effective way to increase the amount of traffic you receive whilst creating a seamless user journey.

Get Personal and Creative

Of course, you should remain professional, but the Stories features on social media channels allow brands and influencers alike to add a personalised approach to their online accounts. People are much more likely to interact with you if they feel a more personal connection.

Being able to use images, videos and the boomerang feature allows users to be more creative when using this feature.This is a great way to highlight your brand and grow awareness in a new and exciting way that differentiates from your main feed. Instagram Stories can also be saved to your profile, which appears above your grid of aesthetically pleasing images so that they can be viewed time and time again. This is an effective and reliable way of highlighting milestones and events.

So, with the trial of Twitter’s new Fleets feature well underway, what do you think of the Stories features across social media platforms? Will Fleets prove to be just as popular as Instagram Stories? Let us know your thoughts on Twitter and Instagram!

Are you interested in collaborating with a social media influencer? If so, we’re here to help! Get in touch with us today to find out more.