One observation we hear being made often when one speaks of the modern social media landscape is prevalence of a low attention span amongst the audience. Before digital media came along, people really had a few options if they wanted to entertain themselves. TV, music, movies, and reading were some of the main leisure activities involving consumption of content.
In each of these mediums, the rate of content consumption was low. While watching a TV show, people paid attention to the program for ten to fifteen minutes at the very least. This gave creators the time to explain the premise of their content to the audience.
Ever since the arrival of social media, the pace of content consumption has spiralled. Take Twitter as an example.
Each tweet containing a maximum of 280 characters is like a newspaper headline. Even by spending a mere five minutes on Twitter, people can read close to thirty to forty tweets, each of them framed in a headline and having its own independent context. This rate of content consumption has meant a gradual shrinkage in the attention span of normal users.
When teaching content writing in digital marketing institutes, trainers lay down the need for writers to be brief. There is an obvious need for marketers to adapt to the attributes of the audience.
If there was one social media feature in the past decade that epitomizes this attribute amongst audiences, it is stories.
What Are Stories?
Stories became popular on social media when Snapchat came out with features that made pictures disappear after 24 hours. This feature was later adopted by Instagram and Facebook in the form of stories. A story can be a picture or video which one posts from an account and it becomes visible to the followers of the account for a period of 24 hours. If there are certain # tags and accounts added and tagged in the story, it will also reach people interested in those tags and accounts.
Twitter was one of the few major social media platforms which did not have a story feature. That stopped being a case in this past week when Twitter announced it was launching Fleets to its platform. Fleets is Twitter’s version of a story.
Its impact on Twitter marketing can only be speculated for now. On any social media platform, a feature becomes more popular when major influencers begin adopting it. Thus, the fate of Twitter Fleets and its impact on marketing cannot yet be estimated.
Stories have had a serious impact on how people use social media channels. What started as a simple feature on Snapchat has been co-opted by all major social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram. With Twitter launching its own story feature with Fleets, we can expect another dimension being added to discourse of the microblogging platform. In this article, we discussed the impact of stories and how they could affect marketing on Twitter.
About the Author – Gaurav Heera is a digital marketing consultant currently working for a top B2B electronics brand. He also gives routine lectures at Delhi Courses, known as best and advanced digital marketing institute in Delhi.
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