Sure, some call it a pure rip off of Snapchat, but Instagram stories looks like it's here to say. And the numbers don't lie: when I posted my first Instagram story, I received over 100 views, when my Snapchats usually get 40 or 50.

Even the Snapchat purists, a group of which I'd call myself a member, will admit that there are some serious upsides to Instagram stories. My mom isn't scared of it, for one. While I'll hang onto Snapchat for as long as they have that filter that gives me sparkly eyes and a flowery crown, let's talk about what exactly Instagram stories has to offer--particularly if you're a blogger or influencer trying to build your audience.

The Pros

  • All that time you spent building your Instagram audience? It will pay off big time. All of your followers will see your stories front-and-center, meaning more views with less work.
  • Instagram stories give context to your perfectly polished profile. People love behind-the-scenes looks and a "microblogging" feel.
  • You no longer have to wonder when your mom will get on Snapchat. A whole audience who wasn't quite ready for a new/another social platform can find your stories in a medium with which they're comfortable.
  • No one's using it! At least on my feed, there are FAR fewer stories to sift through on Instagram than there are when I log into Snapchat. Now's the time to become the numero uno Instagram story-maker among your friends, the go-to account for great content before things get crowded.
  • Instagram (and parent company, Facebook) are going to do what they can to make stories work, especially as they see Snapchat creeping on their territory. So, for as long as Instagram cares about stories, your content will pay off.
  • Discoverability! The best part of Instagram are the various ways to discover great new users (recommendations, hashtags). We always wished this was easier in Snapchat, and Instagram Stories may have the leg up here.

The Cons

  • What do you post where? Will your Snapchat stories look just like your Instagram stories? Most users are figuring out how to use these channels in unique ways. The first person to nail a completely fresh Instagram story strategy will win big time with audiences.
  • No filters! No stickers! Instagram stories missed copying the best part of Snapchat.
  • It is a straight rip off of Snapchat. Without a more unique experience, most users are doing pretty much the same thing on Instagram Stories and Snapchat. 

We're still curious to see how Instagram Stories plays out, but we'll say it again: early adopters in the next few weeks have the potential to set the tone for the platform and make it big with story-watchers.

We'd love to hear about ways that you're experimenting with Instagram stories. Leave your thoughts in the comments.

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