Instagram stories now suggest who to follow, as noted by a member of the News Landed writing team. The feature was recently found while exploring through Instagram stories on iOS, and it is believed to be a server-side update. Instagram’s latest iOS app update offers no mentions of the new feature. It could also be a selective test for certain users, as many users have yet to experience the same. There is also a “shuffle” button on the bottom that shows more suggestions.
Instagram is recognizing that stories are more powerful than the feed
Why would Instagram bring follow suggestions to stories? Well, it is a well-established fact that users tend to go through Instagram stories more than the feed itself. The only other places where follow suggestions show up within the app is the Instagram feed and a user’s profile, after you follow them.
Advertisers are slowly shifting towards promoting stories on Instagram and moving away from posts. The usage of Instagram stories is skyrocketing, and the company is looking at bringing more features to stories. In January 2019, the platform reported that over 500 million people use Instagram stories daily, up from 400 in June 2018. With such a wide audience, it might be interesting to look at bringing more features to the popular media consumption format.
However, will users like content other than stories in the stories section? Personally, I feel that follow suggestions doesn’t belong in Instagram Stories, as it takes away the personal aspect of it. Though there is merit of being able to discover more related people, filling up a story with three follow suggestions doesn’t make much sense to me. What are your thoughts on follow suggestions in Instagram stories? Let us know in the comments below.
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