Last night Instagram announced the introduction of music for stories. Since their introduction in August 2016, Instagram stories have rocketed in popularity. Today over 400 million people use stories every day. Although the ability to add music to stories has been available to users through third party apps for a while, the new feature could open up new avenues for Instagram, artists and the platform’s users.
How It Works
If you’re reading this, it’s likely that you have sent an Instagram story at some point. Adding music to your story is pretty straight forward. Simply scroll over to the ‘Music’ heading underneath the camera button, search for your song of choice, select the part of the song you want to use and you’re done.
Initial Response & Licensing
Within minutes of the new feature appearing here in the UK, I had added a track to my Instagram story (check it out @95SocialUK). My immediate response was;
“hmmmmm, this is a strange selection of songs, I wonder what the licensing deals behind this are?”
The number of songs available appears to be fairly limited, with only a selection of new releases available. Back in March, Facebook (who own Instagram) sealed a number of music licensing deals with three of the world’s largest music labels which appears to have opened the door for this new feature. I would imagine the the number of songs available for Instagram stories will grow quite sizeably as time goes on.
Instagram’s Big Month
It’s been a big month for Instagram. Just last week they announced IGTV a new platform integrated into the Instagram product that allows creators to upload long form, vertical video. The move was broadly seen as an attempt to compete head on with YouTube for a share of the long form video market. This new addition, will be seen by many as a threat to Music.ly, a platform popular with (largely US) Teenagers where users can create video content, add music and sing along to their favourite tracks. Offering younger teens the features they use will, Instagram hope, encourage them to spend more time on the platform.
Potential for Artists
Instagram is really at the forefront of music and popular culture, so it makes a lot of sense for artists to embrace the sharing of snippets of their music on the platform. The new feature opens up opportunities for artists to gain global awareness and play their music, through stories, directly to their audience. Viral trends are commonplace on platforms like Instagram and the opportunity to intertwine their music with future social phenomena will no doubt be attractive to fledgling artists. Musician Sage The Gemini, saw real offline benefits from including his music inside a popular filter over on Snapchat and many will, no doubt, hope Instagram’s new feature will bring them similar success.
This is a small addition to the ever expanding Instagram platform, however, it does signal their continual commitment to delivering the features that their users want. Where Snapchat have struggled to balance commercial viability and user happiness, Instagram are thriving and continuing to diversify their audience. Instagram is no longer a platform for teenagers and millennials. It is a platform that promises a great user experience along with some serious business tools.