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Brands leap to Instagram Stories, find success

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When Instagram introduced its Snapchat-inspired “Stories” feature two weeks ago, questions surfaced on whether the social network could replicate its competitor’s success with advertisers.

Those questions will soon begin to quell, as the Wall Street Journal reported Friday that “a flurry of media companies including CNN, Food Network, People, Comedy Central, Cosmopolitan and Tastemade have taken to regularly producing Stories, and some say they are seeing solid early viewership numbers.”

Beyond posting regular Stories, AwesomenessTV, a media company that is a joint venture between Hearst Corporation, Verizon, and DreamWorks Animation, has already run one of the first advertising campaigns through the platform.

One of the publishers most heavily utilizing the platform since its launch is Time Inc., which has been using its Sports Illustrated brand to post content from its coverage of the Rio Olympics.

In addition, Entertainment Weekly has plans to use Instagram Stories “to reveal this week’s cover featuring Fantastic Beasts star Eddie Redmayne.”

And the numbers are starting to reflect the platform’s potential — People posted a quick Story with the Today show cast that received more than 100,000 views, a Time Inc. spokeswoman told the Wall Street Journal.

While publishing strategies thus far have been largely experimental, brands can scope out future possibilities to leverage their own content on the platform.

The head of programming at Tastemade told the Wall Street Journal that with the new feature, it’s easy to do an orchestrated story, with a start to finish — allowing the content to differentiate itself from individual pieces of content in a feed.

While the success of Instagram Stories depends on the features the social network adds to the platform, it is proving its worth to brands by exchanging increased visibility for cash.

Amy Odell, editor, said the platform has provided the ability to distribute content that otherwise might not have made it to its curated feed.

“Instead of just one perfectly edited image of an ice cream sundae, we posted several Stories from a recent ice cream social held at headquarters,” she told the Wall Street Journal.

That space for more content, brands hope, will translate is to more viewers, more revenue, and ultimately more success.

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