Local Stories Coming to Instagram

 width=Brands who use Instagram will soon have new options for social media marketing, as Instagram is unveiling a Local Stories feature. This new feature, which mimics an existing functionality on Snapchat, makes it easier for users to generate and discover trending content linked to a specific real-world location.


While Instagram’s new feature is not fully functional yet, a sneak peek at TechCrunch has given marketers a glimpse at how this new feature will work, how brands will use it, and some hints about which features Instagram might be turning to next.


Easier to Explore Local Content


Those in the social media marketing world will likely recognize Instagram’s Local Stories feature as more or less a direct copy of a similar feature on Snapchat. That feature, which Snapchat released two months ago, aggregated recent Snaps by their location tags, creating location-based collections of these Snaps for users to explore. Snapchat users could explore search for these tags using a new “Stories Search” feature. That feature also allows users to search for stories based on other tags through Snapchat.


Instagram’s Local Stories feature works similarly, but without the added functionality of the Stories Search feature. Instead, users can search through an Explore tab to find content posted from a specific location. Instagram then curates a slideshow of publicly available posts based around that location.


So far, there’s no indication that Instagram will add a search feature that allows users to search for trending content with non-location tags. But now that the network has already added Local Stories functionality, many social media marketing experts expect a version of Stories Search to reach Instagram sooner rather than later.


Impact on Social Media Marketing


There are a few ways that social media marketing experts expect Local Stories could impact the way brands approach Instagram, but two in particular are getting specific attention.


  • Local Stories Ads. Marketers expect that Instagram will soon allow brands to place ad bids on Local Stories. This will allow brands to specifically target users with interest in the location, whether that’s your business, a competitor’s business, locations in your area, or a location that resonates with your target market.


  • Local Stories Campaigns. Through Local Stories, brands will have a new avenue for generating trending content. If you are holding an event, you can encourage customers to share pictures and tag your event’s location. With enough traction, brands can create trending stories that will appear to users within their local area.


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