I noticed that I almost never used the stories feature in social media apps I use daily. While everybody shares several stories every day, I share a story or a status once in a million years. It is basically a song that I like on Spotify, so I share it on my story. Whenever I share a story, my friends get quite surprised. I also realized that I don’t exactly know what are stories and how do I use them. In this post, I will both learn and try to help my readers who don’t have enough knowledge about, just like me.
What are Stories?
In the dictionary, story is a narrative, either true or fictitious, in prose or verse, designed to interest, amuse, or instruct the hearer or reader; tale. But here in social media it’s different. Well, maybe… Under various names either stories or statuses, this thing lets you post updates that will disappear after 24 hours. These posts reflect our mood as of the moment we share them. Just as our current mood is not permanent, these posts are not permanent either.
Stories nowadays are even part of some popular songs, For example Mabel’s Ring Ring. She says that
You said you were home
But I saw on your story, you’re out till’ the morning
Although it is called different in each platform, The function which can be called stories, lets people share photos, videos or texts. Content producers also use stories function quite often to share a preview of their upcoming videos. Event organizers share the event schedule and program details using the stories function. Unlike the permanent photos, the story is deleted from the profile after the event ends.
Stories In Numbers
As you’ve just read above, there are no restrictions on the content of stories. Looking at the current leading app in terms of Stories, it is possible to share 15 seconds long videos on Instagram. unless it’s a live video that you save which can be up to 60 minutes. There are also some apps that allow you to split the videos longer than 15 seconds, and share on your story. But I don’t think I have enough information to make a suggestion. It is possible to share 10 photos at the same time. Here’s a trivia: you can share up to 100 stories a day.
According to statistics shared by Instagram in January 2019, there are 500 million active stories users. I am very curious about the current numbers but they are not officially shared yet.
Coming to WhatsApp, here it’s called status. You can share 30 seconds long videos. You can also share 30 photos in your status at the same time. But I guess I’ll begin questioning the meaning of life if I ever see someone posting status consisting of 30 photos, while the number of photos I took in my entire life is same way around.
And on The first one to introduce stories, SnapChat, videos of 10 seconds could be posted at first. SnapChat increased the video duration to 60 seconds when other apps were included in the competition.
Stories and Accessibility
This is maybe the biggest reason why I don’t really post stories that often, as often as others. But let me try to explain the current situation in each app basis.
Facebook and hence Instagram continue to work on making photos more accessible to us visually impaired. Backed by the support of artificial intelligence, it tries to help us by providing predictive description about the content of a photo shared on the timeline. As they apply a similar logic to videos, we’re more or less able to understand what the content of a video is about. However I think there is more to go till we will have instant video description available.
At the moment, we don’t have the opportunity to have the predictive text for photos shared on stories, or read the texts shared on stories. Since the text is colored with various effects, screen readers that can read plain text are helpless against such kind of formatted texts.
On WhatsApp side, things are a little different. Screen readers can read text statuses. However, there is still no predictive description for the photos.
Be sure that I’ll update this post when there’s any improvements in terms of stories and accessibility.
I am aware of the existence of a few more apps that use the Stories feature, but I don’t exactly know how they work.
Source for the Instagram statistics
So, what’s on your story today? What do you like sharing on your stories the most?