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Instagram Stories boasts more than 400 million daily users, and recent research from Facebook IQ indicates that brands can make their presence felt there. In a survey of 2,400 Instagram users ages 13-55 in the US, Facebook IQ found that one-third had become more interested in a brand or product after seeing it on Instagram Stories.

Interestingly, users in a couple of other countries seemed even more open to brands in Stories. Roughly half of respondents in Indonesia (52%) and Brazil (47%) reported heightened interest in a brand or product after seeing it in Stories. The analysts attributed that to higher activity on Stories in those countries, suggesting that as activity on Stories grows in the US, positive sentiment towards brand content might also rise alongside it.

Brands Associated With the Feed, But Valued More in Stories

There’s an interesting dichotomy apparent in the research. When Instagram users were asked whether they opt for Instagram Stories or Instagram Feed for various objectives, they tended to opt for Instagram Feed by a roughly 2:1 margin for discovering products and brands.

However, a separate question asked users to choose which content they value more in Stories than the Feed, and vice versa. Within the US, respondents valued content that helped them connect with friends and get an inside look into their lives in the Feed rather than in Stories.

But when it came to brand content, Instagram users seemed to display a preference for Stories over the Feed. Specifically, these types of content were valued more by US users in Stories than Feed:

  • Provides information on events (shows, concerts, fairs, etc.) that are relevant to me;
  • Lets me find out about new products that are relevant to me;
  • Allows me to stay in the know about brands that I’m interested in.

The analysts theorize that “while people strongly associate discovery of brands and products with feed, they also appreciate the ability to see brand- and product-related content in stories.”

Interestingly, respondents in the US associate the same attributes with both Stories and Feed:

  1. Creativity;
  2. Visual beauty; and
  3. Freedom of expression.

So while brands may have a decision to make about how to share their content, those attributes will at least provide some direction regarding the type of content they should share in either environment.

About the Data: The results are based on a Facebook-commissioned survey conducted by Sentient Decision Science among 2,400 people in Brazil, 2,300 in Indonesia, 2,300 in the UK and 2,400 in the US. All respondents were ages 13-55 and use Instagram at least once a week.

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