Snapchat did it first. Instagram followed it. Skype failed at it. LinkedIn adopted it, and now YouTube is expanding it. Since the launch of Snapchat, Stories as a form of sharing messages and videos is a hit among messaging platforms, and now YouTube wants to cash on this trend. The video platform is expanding its Instagram-like Stories feature to more creators starting today, which will be available to those with more than 10,000 subscribers.
While YouTube Stories and Instagram Stories are similar in terms of approach, they differ in terms of appearance. The YouTube Stories last for seven days on the mobile app, and will appear for both subscribers and non-subscribers. They will show up in YouTube’s “Up Next” sidebar beside a video and creators using the tool will be able to respond to fans who interact with their stories. The creator responses will be seen by anyone who comes across the story.
The feature is a smart way for YouTubers to engage with their followers without creating a video every time they wish to express something on the platform. This could also drive creators away from Instagram and Snapchat, where YouTubers tends to post their Stories now. YouTube is also allowing fans to leave comments or questions on stories, and creators will get an option to address them publicly.
The YouTube Stories feature was first introduced in November 2017 as ‘YouTube Reels’, and was limited to channel promotion and community engagement. Now, it is turning the platform into something where creators can give day-to-day live updates. Just think of it as seeing a Vlog in the form of stories instead of a long video.
The change in YouTube’s strategy means that Stories will start to appear more on the homepage of mobile app. For instance, if you go to subscriptions on the YouTube app then you will see more ‘Stories’ than ever before. The expansion of YouTube Stories has received mixed response from the community. Even some YouTubers have called the feature not necessary at this moment.
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With the launch of Stories, creators will now be spoilt for choices as they cross post across all these platforms. If you follow someone on all the platforms then there is a fair chance that their story will be the same on Instagram, Snapchat and YouTube now. The big question that tech companies need to answer is do we need stories on every other app in the universe?