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Instagram Adds Stories Likes to Provide Insight on Viewer Engagement

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Instagram Adds Stories Likes to Provide Insight on Viewer Engagement


Instagram has added a new, simple way for users to engage with Stories content with Stories likes, which enables you to ‘like’ any Story in your feed, and let the creator know, without having to start up a DM conversation.

As demonstrated by Instagram chief Adam Mosseri, now, down the bottom of your Stories view in the app, you’ll see a new heart icon, which, when tapped, will send the creator of that Story a like.

Stories likes are not public, and only the creator will be able to see them. Creators will be able to view their Story likes in their Story insights, with a small heart icon added next to the viewers’ name in the view listing.

And as noted, Stories likes will not come through as a DM, so you’re not suddenly going to get an influx of DMs as people use the function to react to your Stories.

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Which is good, because it’s pretty annoying to have to send somebody a DM to let them know that you liked their Story. This adds a simple, low-touch way to indicate your interest, without having to send a new message alert every time you want to signal such.

It could be a handy way to increase Stories engagement, while it might also add another signal for Instagram to use in ranking the Stories in your feed, and highlight those most likely to be of interest.  

To be clear, Instagram hasn’t indicated that this is or will be a ranking factor at this stage. But you would assume that with another means of direct insight, Instagram will look at how it could utilize such to improve each users’ experience, by showing them more of what they literally like.

Which could be a good way to learn more about broader user response, while also providing a simple feedback mechanism for creators. It always feels better to see how people are responding, and reducing the pressure around DM responses for stories seems like a positive step.

It also moves Stories more into line with TikTok-style short video clips, which rely on user engagement signals for both ranking and engagement. Instagram already has this on Reels, and now, Stories viewers will also be able to interact more easily, which could prove to be a valuable, habitual shift.

So while, technically, it may seem like a fairly minor update, it could have a big impact, and it’ll be interesting to see how Instagram looks to use the insights it gleans from such, and whether that then helps it boost user engagement.

The new like for Stories button is being rolled out to all users from today.





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Meta Launches New Reels Features, Including Stories to Reels Conversion and Improved Analytics

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Meta Launches New Reels Features, Including Stories to Reels Conversion and Improved Analytics

As it works to latch onto the short-form video trend, and negate the rising influence of TikTok, Meta has announced some new updates for Reels, across both Facebook and Instagram, including additional Reels insights, the expansion of the ‘Add Yours’ sticker, and ‘auto-created’ Reels clips. Yes, automatically created Reels videos.

Here’s how the new additions work.

The main addition is the expansion of the ‘Add Yours’ sticker from Stories to Reels, providing another way to prompt engagement from other users via Reels clips.

As you can see in these example images, you’ll now be able to post ‘Add Yours’ questions via Reels clips, while you’ll also be able to view all the various video responses to any prompt in each app.

It could be another way to spark engagement, and lean into the more interactive ethos of the short form video trend. Part of the appeal of TikTok is that it invites people in, with the participatory nature of the app essentially expanding meme engagement, by making it more accessible for users to add their own take.

Meta will be hoping that the ‘Add Yours’ sticker helps to facilitate the same, prompting more engagement with Reels clips.

Next up is auto-created Facebook Reels, which, as it sounds, will enable users to automatically convert their archived Stories into Reels clips.

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Reels updates

As you can see here, you’ll soon see a new ‘Create from Your Story Archive’ prompt in the Reels creation flow, which will then enable you to convert your Stories into Reels clips.

So it’s not exactly wholly automated Reels creation, as it’s just flipping your Stories clips into Reels as well. But it could provide another, simple way for users and brands to create Stories content, utilizing the video assets that they already have to link into the trend.

Worth noting that Meta also recently added a tool to convert your video assets into Reels within Creator Studio.

Meta’s also expanding access to its ‘Stars’ creator donations to Facebook Reels, which is now being opened up to all eligible creators.

Stars donations in Reels

Meta initially announced the coming expansion of Stars to Reels back in June, which will provide another critical monetization pathway for Reels creators. Short form video is not as directly monetizable as longer clips, where you can insert pre and mid-roll adds, so add-on elements like this are key to keeping creators posting, and fueling an ecosystem for such in its apps.

Stars on Reels will be available all creators that have maintained at least 1,000 followers over the last 60 days.

Meta’s also adding new Reels performance insights to Creator Studio, including Reach, Minutes Viewed, and Average Watch Time.

Reels updates

That’ll provide more perspective on what’s working, and what’s not, to help optimize your Reels approach – which could be especially valuable in the coming holiday push.

Lastly, Meta’s also expanding some Reels features that were previously only available in Instagram to Facebook as well.

Crossposting from Instagram to Facebook is now available to all Instagram users, while Meta’s also expanding its Remix option to Facebook Reels also.

Reels updates

As noted, Reels has become a key focus for Meta, as the short-form video trend continues to gain traction, and TikTok continues to rise as a potential competitor. By replicating TikTok’s main elements, Meta’s working to negate its key differentiation, which could ensure that more of its users don’t bother downloading a new app, and just stick with its platforms instead.’

Which, whether you agree with that approach or not, has proven effective. Reels content now makes up more than 20% of the time that people spend on Instagram, while video content, overall, makes up 50% of the time that people spend on Facebook.

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Meta additionally notes that it’s seen a more than 30% increase in engagement time with Reels across both Facebook and Instagram.

Meta doesn’t need to ‘beat’ TikTok as such (as much as it would like to), but it does need to dilute its significance if it can, and make it less appealing for users to have to start yet another new account, and re-build their friends list.

That’s why it’ll continue to replicate TikTok at every turn, because millions of people are currently not going to TikTok because of the presence of Reels in its apps.  

You can learn more about Meta’s new Reels updates here.

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