Instagram Story Highlight – New feature, New possibilities!

After Instagram Story, Instagram Live, this is yet another revolutionary feature that Instagram has introduced. On December 5, 2017, Instagram announced two new features called “Story Highlight” & “Story Archive”. I spent last 48 hours understanding these two features and what I got is really really awesome. In this blog you will get the detailed description about these two features and the possibilities for growth of personal brand and business by the use of these features.

What’s new about these features?

With “Story Highlight” you can highlight one/multiple stories on your account and they will be there till you delete them(not for 24 hours). “Story Archive” helps to archive all your stories similar to “post archives” and only you can see them.

That’s it. That’s the answer. Not sounding anything interesting. But fun part is in the implementation. If you read the Instagram blog; which I highly recommend you to read (click here) you can find these objectives of this feature.

1. Story on Instagram got so much attention and got so popular that they now allow you to keep the stories on your account forever (not 24 hours).

2. The consumption of vertical content increased in a much higher pace than expected. People consume more stories than scrolling down the feed.

3. People who create more creative stories can now categorise them and showcase them for a much longer time.

In general, Instagram or any other platform who has an ad market/ad product will not provide any feature without any outcome. The outcome for Instagram from this feature can be like –

a. Instagram can have a better understanding on your likes and dislikes which can very helpful for their ad product.
b. Highlight is also a new window for Instagram to place ads just like stories/story transitions.

So here is the thing. 2018, 2019 and the future will be all about mobile content and vertical contents. So you can either complain about the ad marketing of Instagram or you can use this feature and get the best out of it. This feature can be implemented in so many different ways that you can not even imagine.

How to use this feature?

This is a two day old product. So most of the people don’t have this feature now. But if you are able to see highlight dots on anyone’s account then you can also add highlight dots to your account by following these simple steps.

1. Go to Options > Story Settings > Saving. Then turn ON “Save to Archive”.
2. To create a new highlight from archived stories, tap on “new icon” on your profile. Then select the story or stories.
3. You can choose a Title for the Highlight story and put emoji as well. Also you can select a cover for the highlight. You have the option to reposition, zoom in/out the 16:9 content to get the best cover for your Highlight story.

Following are some of the case studies that I have done in this very less amount of time. Hope you all like them and can get a suitable one for your Instagram.

Case study 01: (For communities)

Communities who have several community programs can use this feature to highlight those programs.

e.g. In @hellohyderabad community we conduct a weekly live show called “Crush It”. Also from last week we started a new program called “City Safari”. So Story Highlight can really be helpful in promoting these two shows 24x7x365. @HelloHyderabad also conducts InstaMeets (#THNmeet and #WWIM). So this feature can also be used to promote these two kind of events for a specific period. With the swipe up feature, the users who have more than 10K following, can also provide a link for the Swipe Up action.

Case study 02: (Bookmark)

If you have a community or network of communities like @thn.city, you can bookmark all the community pages on the parent page with this feature. Also if you are a personal brand or if you have Instagram accounts for different niches then you can bookmark them at one place for the better user experience for your community members/users. If you don’t have the Swipe Up action, you can simply mention the account handle/user ID on the highlighted story.

Case Study 03: (For personal brand/Blogger/YouTuber)

Personal brands who have blogs/YouTube Channel or any other platform can use this feature with the swipe up action to showcase their
a. Top blogs/videos
b. Recent blogs or videos
c. Any promotional content
d. Affiliates
e. Special offers
f. Giveaway

Even if you don’t have the option to add “Swipe Up” action, you can use Hashtag and or mention accounts.

Case study 04: Categories

If your account is a multi-niche like travel & food, Book & Coffee, Flowers & Birds you can use this feature to categorize your stories. So that your audience who are only interested in one of the niches, can check the exact same story they want.

Case study 05: Polls

As the stories exist for 24 hours, the poll function is also limited to 24 hours. If you are running a contest/general poll, with this feature you can put polls on your story for a longer period of time.

* You can now share the result of the polls as well.

Case study 06: For photographers

I have seen photographers post stories about their best work/free wallpaper etc. With this feature, you can now put those free wallpapers or your best works for ever.

e.g: Wallpaper collection | Best of 2017 | Best of 2016

Case study 07: For business

This feature is very much important and effective for businesses. The difference between your story and highlighted story is, the highlighted story has its own cover. So you have the option to put a specific cover for your highlighted story to attract your audience. For example, if you want to provide a 10% discount on any of your product, put a relevant cover on your highlight story and then if you have the “Swipe Up” feature, you can directly drive the customer to your website/the website that sales your product.

This feature can also be used for several other things like Restaurant menu, Top products, Best deal, Business Locations, Free offer/Giveaway

Case study 08: Live video

This is the thing that I will test in future. If this feature is applicable for live videos then we can pin/highlight the live videos on your account. I am really looking for this. If it works, we can implement it for shows like “Crush It”. Click here to learn more about “Crush It”.

Pros & Cons of this feature:

As this is a new feature, several functions are not working properly at this moment such as 1. the polls are not working after 24 hours.
2. Hashtags/stickers/usernames on the story are non functional on some of the highlighted story after 24 hours.
3. Story Highlight took much space, so if your bio is a larger one, your posts won’t be visible to users directly. They have to scroll down even to see the first line of content.

But a bug fix update can change that all. The best thing is this unlike other features (swipe up/insights) anyone can use this feature (business account/10K following not required).

How to use this feature effectively?

1. Keep 4 highlight dots at max.
2. Story Highlight is a very good place for CTA (Call to Action). Keep a call to action on the highlighted stories like polls or swipe ups.
3. Monetize your first 4 highlight dots coz they are valuable.
4. Don’t spam.

Questions for readers:

That’s all for this blog. Hope you got a lot of insights about this new feature on Instagram. Hope you enjoyed this blog as much as I enjoyed writing it. It would mean the world to me, if you answer the below questions and share this blog with your fellow Instagrammer friends.

1. Do you like this “Story Highlight” feature?
2. Was this blog helpful?
3. Which case study you liked the most? (Mine is case study no. 07)

Thank you all for reading this blog. Visit @zuvam to see my work.