Instagram Stories Celebrate One Year

Instagram Stories may only be celebrating its first year in existence, but the effect it has on the app—especially for businesses and brands—is significant.

Stories is a feature of Instagram that allows users to create a photo, or a series of photos, that only lasts for 24 hours, after which it will be lost to the ether forever—unless you save it, of course. Stories are located at the top of an Instagram feed, with profile picture circles indicating whether a user has a story available to view.

Stories has also contributed to how long people are using the app. On average, users under the age of 25 spend more than 32 minutes a day, while those over 25 spend more than 24 minutes on Instagram.

According to Instagram, over 50 percent of businesses on the app produced a story in the last month, and one in five of those received a direct message.

The top location tags for Instagram Stories may be unsurprising if you spend any time discovering new feeds on the app:

  1. Jakarta, Indonesia
  2. São Paulo
  3. New York City
  4. London
  5. Madrid

The top hashtags for stories show you how people are really utilizing the feature:

  1. #goodmorning
  2. #work
  3. #goodnight
  4. #mood
  5. #happybirthday
  6. #TBT
  7. #love
  8. #home
  9. #bomdia — meaning “hello” or “good day” in Portuguese
  10. #relax

Instagram has received criticism for implementing the feature as Snapchat, another popular photo app that relies on the idea of impermanence, first came out with its stories feature in 2013. Alongside this criticism is more centering around Instagram’s mimicking of face filters that made Snapchat so popular in the first place—in particular, animal face filters.

The most popular face filters that users prefer to use in Instagram Stories are:

  1. Puppy ears
  2. Sleep mask
  3. Bunny ears
  4. Love with heart-shaped darts
  5. Koala ears

It appears taking cues from Snapchat has paid off for Instagram, particularly when it comes to engaging active users. Snapchat’s 166 million daily users is still less than Instagram’s 250 million users per day, which is big news for brands deciding which apps to employ.