In our world of constant copying nearly every platform that claims to be social in some fashion has entered a contestant in the Story Thunderdome. Many will enter, one will emerge. Is that a safe bet? That people will standardize around one? I think it’s a reasonable assumption, since it’s only a subset of people that will be posting stories, anyway. Will people cross post? Likely, but that rarely works out very well, and even if they do people aren’t going to watch these stories and reply to them all over the place. In the end, there can be only one…
So who wins? First mover advantage would have Snapchat, even if they’re not really the first ones to have had it, they were the first major platform with it. Anyway, doubtful that that will happen. Instagram started eating their lunch already. But then along comes Facebook and it’s own competitor Facebook. Just like in the old days when you could have a Facebook in your Facebook, you can now make stories in Facebook or in Facebook Messenger, which is adding features at a fearsome rate. Remember the days when you just chatted with Facebook Messenger? Now you can tell stories, play games, pay bills and who knows what else.
If we wait a few minutes we’re likely to see half a dozen other places to store your stories. Hey, I was the CTO for a startup that helped you tell your story just for yourself, so you could reflect on it. You could dictate thoughts via your phone or post a picture as a placeholder and later fill out your digital memoirs, if you will. So I’m sure there are platforms a brimmin’ for
all you digital griots and electronic bards out there. Twitter’s Moments might be another Story thing. Yeah, that’ll definitely take off….
What Could Tip The Balance
There are two things that could push one platform ahead. Number one is assistance. People don’t have a clue what they’re supposed to do with Stories. They look like people pulled up in front of a mic at a wedding. Give them a topic, examples and a couple flutes of bubbly first, please. Or how about someone who encourages, helps and suggests? It wouldn’t be easy to find the balance between being too nosey and pushy and being helpful, but it would be worth the effort.
Second thing is hardware. Not necessarily specialized hardware like Snapchat is doing with Spectacles. It could just be in the form of APIs and encouraging hardware makers to build in easy pathways to move audio & video content to your story. The most obvious example of this would be if you could push your GoPro content to your story in real time, maybe in draft mode, so you could caption or delete portions later. Make it as easy as possible.
If I were in a leadership position at Snapchat I’d just go ahead and buy GoPro.
This isn’t a no brainer move. Google+ had access to all your photos and videos auto backed up from your phone or photo library for many people. Didn’t save it. Companies living off of making prints of digital pictures are struggling to give their work away. So clever people are needed to make this work, but I’m certain a well worked out strategy involving rapidly moving content to Stories is essential.
Just putting a stories function up is a horrible idea. Without sufficient muscle behind it you just make yourself look irrelevant. Will Stories turn out to be something people really use? It’s likely. It seems like the next step in the move of content from people’s personal sites out to where people congregate. It’s just which of those Story features will survive that we’ll all have to see.