This article is all about data.
We are all aware that Instagram stories in a very short time have acquired the attention of every marketer in the world and managed to take over the stories go to the platform from Snapchat and TikTok.
According to the latest Instagram updates the platform is evolving beyond the square photo format, and it’s placing a huge bet on the Instagram video formats. Users on both iPhone iOs and Android are able to use innovative features to make boomerangs, hands-free selfies, repost or just view stories of their favorite influencers. All these activities, contribute to the high adoption of the story format.
In this relation, we have interesting stats to prove why this social media format has taken such an important place in almost every marketing strategy.
Here you will find useful statistics and insights, starting from general data about the overall usage of Instagram stories, to real case studies that give evidence about the performance of the Instagram story ads.
Related to this, here are the main topics in this article:
- Everything about Instagram Stories
- 5 General Statistics About Insta Stories
- How to Access Your Stories Insights?
- What are the Instagram Stories Specific Insights?
- How to analyze Instagram Stories Data?
- How to aggregate and store Instagram Stories Data?
- Instagram Story Ads Analytics
- Bonus: Tools to bring you good results
Everything about Instagram Stories
What are Instagram stories?
Instagram story is the vertical photo or video on an Instagram account that is short (up to 15 seconds) that disappear after 24 hours.
Insta stories are showed differently and separately from your Instagram feed or Reels.
What’s the anatomy of an Instagram story?
Now let’s see how an Instagram Story looks like and what are its elements.
First of all, the body of the Story is the picture or the video that represents the ephemeral content.
In the top left corner is always the profile photo and the username of the Story owner. Previously, if it was a verified account (like a business account or famous influencer), next to the username a verification icon was standing, but that’s not the case anymore. So, all the stories in this part look the same.
On the top right corner, there are three dots that yellow you to report the story, copy the story link, share it, or mute the stories from that user.
At the bottom left there is a reply bar that you can tap to send a direct message from the Story. And right next to it there is a share arrow. If you want to share the story in a private message with another user, just tap the arrow, choose the Instagram user you want to send the story to, and click ‘Sеnd’.
A really cool option is the Story Reactions. If you swipe up the bottom of the screen a few emojis will pop up. You can choose one and tap on it to let know the Story owner how you feel about their Story without typing anything.
Lately, Instagram is pushing a new feature called Link Sticker that is available in the stories stickers library and is the new solution for adding links on the Instagram story.
How to use Instagram stories?
Since Insta Stories are becoming as popular as Instagram posts, as a business, you should consider including them in your social media marketing strategy.
IG stories are a cool feature that allows Instagram users to share a temporary story with their followers, in a highly immerse format.
To create an IG Story tap on your profile picture in the top left corner at the top of your screen. You can take photos and videos directly from the app (by tapping the camera icon) or you can upload them from your camera roll.
After you decide on your story, you can adjust it in any way you like. For example, you can take a boomerang video, insert a selfie as an image overlay, display it on full-screen, or resize the creative. Just swipe left of the screen to view more layout options.
To make the story more engaging and appealing there are many decorations and functionalities you can add to your story, like stickers, gifs (giphy), hashtags, emojis, use different fonts, question stickers, hashtag stickers, poll stickers, add links, and you can also tag people.
Also, there’s another cool feature called Instagram Story Highlights that allows you to keep your favorite stories on your account for more than 24 hours. Highlights are permanently on your profile and can be updated at any time.
How to view Instagram stories?
Well, Snapchat was the first social media platform that implemented this feature. But no matter if you’ve ever used that app or not, Instagram stories are very easy to view.
IG stories use the same interface on both iOs and Android, so it doesn’t matter if you use iPhone or any other smartphone.
Just open your Instagram app and on the top of the screen, you’ll see a series of mini profile pictures highlighted in circles. Those are the stories actually. Tap the first one (or anyone you want to view) and that’s it.
If you want to view all photos and videos within the same Story, just tap on the screen and they will change.
And if you want to go from one Story to another just swipe right and you’ll see the next user’s Story.
Note: If you don’t do any action on the screen while watching stories, they will automatically swipe from one to another photo/video within the same story. And right after that, the next user’s story will be opened. So, you can view stories hands-free. Cool, right?
5 General Statistics About Insta Stories
These are official statistics published by the Instagram team about the vast usage and adoption of Instagram stories not just from regular users, but also by Instagram businesses from all over the world.
We’ve outlined these 5 data points to understand the power of Instagram stories and why this format is gaining so much traction.
So, here are the main stats showing how many people use Instagram stories and how popular this format is:
- Instagram stories are used by 500 million users every day (Instagram internal data, January 2019)
- One third (1/3) of the most viewed Instagram Stories are from businesses
- 50% of businesses on Instagram worldwide created at least one story during a typical month
- 96% of US marketers surveyed plan to continue using Stories ads in the next 6 months
And if this format is compared to the current, most popular format such as Facebook and the Instagram feed, there is a viable prediction that sharing with Instagram stories will surpass sharing through Feed views.
Well, let’s see if this strong number can really impact your usage of the stories and if you can get some of the results that this format is promising.
How to Access Your Stories Insights?
In the previous section, we’ve seen that Instagram stories are generally enduring format. But in order to see this for ourselves, we need to start monitoring Instagram insights for our own stories.
Similar to the analytics section for your account and Instagram posts, your Stories insights can be found in the top right corner of your Instagram business profile, by tapping the “Insights” button.
If you still have not seen the Insights section in your Instagram account, here are the steps on how to access them.
Please note: before you start looking for the Insights section, make sure your Instagram profile is converted to a business profile by connecting your Instagram account with your official Facebook business page. Once you do this you will get the Insights option in your Instagram profile.
There are a few ways how you can view your stories’ statistics, depending on if you want to view the insights for the current/live story or you want to check historical data about the previous stories.
To access the Instagram stories of the active story, follow these steps:
- First, create an IG story with a tap on your profile icon
- Choose an existing photo from the camera roll or take a photo with a tap on the camera icon
- Choose an emoji and post the story with a tap on the bottom right
- After few minutes or hours, tap again on the current story
- Swipe up the story you are viewing
- It will open a bottom drawer view with the story insights
- Tap the (eye) icon to view the actual Instagram users who have viewed the story
- Tap the (chart) icon to view the insights for the story
If you want to access the insights for Instagram Highlights, the above steps are the same. Just go to your profile and tap on a Highlight, swipe up, and tap the chart icon explained before.
To view Instagram stories analytics and insights for all your previous stories, follow these steps:
- Go to your profile
- Tap the top right (menu) icon
- Tap the Insights menu item
Next, you can see how to access the historical data about all your stories.
Just follow these steps:
- In the Insights screen, tap on the Content menu
- Scroll down to the Stories section
- Tap the See All > link
In this section, you are able to view insights for each particular story. You will notice that in the layout the stories are organized based on the slides and a metric is displayed in the bottom middle.
Each metric can be changed by clicking on the top metric blue word that is selected at the moment. Here is how to do this.
What are the Instagram Stories Specific Insights?
Once you access your Instagram stories insights, you will see some specific data items that are very unique to the story format. In order to understand their meaning and how Instagram measure them, please check the official Instagram stories insights definition for the most common metrics:
- Impressions – The total number of views your story has received that you can see in the bottom left corner of the screen when you open the story
- Reach – The number of unique accounts who saw your story
- Taps forward – The number of times someone taps to skip (swipe right) to the next piece of your story
- Taps back – The number of times someone taps to go back to a previous piece of your story
- Replies – The number of times people send messages through the Send Message option on your story
- Swipe away – The number of times someone swipes to skip to the next account’s story
- Exits – The number of times someone leaves the stories viewer to return to their feed
- Next story – The number of taps to the next account’s story
In the preview of the story insights, you will also see a section with Interactions, that might include the following data points: Replies, Website clicks, and Profile visits.
Another one worth mentioning here is the Sticker Taps, which shows the number of times people have tapped on a hashtag, location tag, mention, or product sticker on your Story.
It is good to know that Instagram shows this data from the moment you’ve converted your personal to a business account. So for any previous stories, you will not able to view their insights.
New Instagram stories metrics
Instagram is rolling our constantly new features and related metrics.
Some of the newest metrics are Directions, Calls, Texts, Emails – which are related to the effect that Instagram stories had on the action performed on your profile CTA buttons.
How to analyze Instagram Stories Data?
In the following text, we will show you a few tips on how to analyze the metrics of your Instagram stories and will answer some common questions that you might have about the stories’ data you will see in your account.
Why impressions and reach are different metrics?
The difference comes from the fact that a single person can view your story multiple times. So if they view the story 5 times you will get 5 more impressions.
And when it comes to the reach metric, it represents the number of unique people who viewed the story, regarding the number of times they viewed the story.
What is better, taps back or taps forward?
In short, taps backward. Why? Well if people tap more backward that can signal that they have viewed more of your story and that is interesting, so they go back and spend more time on the story.
Taps forward can signal that maybe some parts of the story slide are boring or not giving enough information so people want to jump straight to the end in order to get the idea of the story.
But please note that on the slides where you have arrows or explicit call to action to navigate further, the taps forward can be increasingly high if compared with other slides. So that will be an expected result of the action you want the story slide to achieve.
How Exits are calculated?
By definition, exits occur when a person leaves your story. This does not mean that they went back or tapped forward. This means that they:
- Tapped the x icon
- Swiped to the next story of another account
- Closed the Instagram app
- Swiped down to their feed.
So the conclusion is that your primer goal of the story is to have a lower percentage of the exits when compared with the reach.
How to measure clicks and CTRs to my website?
To measure click-through rates or the number of clicks coming from the stories to your website, you can include a UTM type of link for your ‘See more’ button.
In order to measure the Instagram stories’ performance more precisely, you can track the number of clicks coming to your website in Google Analytics.
In many cases, this See more button is still not available, so if you do not have this option you can try adding @ mention to lead directly to your profile, where you can add the UTM link in the bio section.
How to aggregate and store Instagram Stories Data?
If you ever had the chance to analyze the success of your organic Instagram stories, you will come to the conclusion that the current Insights section described above is created for smaller users or business accounts who probably do not need to programmatically analyze the success of their stories.
But, if you want to have a professional approach in the stories insights analysis, you will need a third-party tool or software that will help you do more with your stories data.
Here are a few features that EmbedStories provides:
- Generate automatically stories and their Instagram data points
- Collect and store this data in one place with easily accessible functions
- Options to embed the stories on any website
- Unique data points for the success of your stories on your website
- Boost Instagram Stories into Ads
Here is a screenshot in a comparison mode for the insights of the generated stories in the EmbedStories system:
Regarding the Instagram analytics of the stories embedded on your website, here is a sample view of the report about the performance of a story beyond Instagram:
For more details about Insta stories analytics in EmbedStories, check the analytics tutorials.
Instagram Story Ads Analytics
When it comes to using the Stories format to create and boost sponsored ads, the results that most of the companies are getting are pretty awesome.
It seems that this vertical, mobile format is responding more to the user’s behavior, so having a native ad that can engage with them on a full screen makes total sense to drive great results.
We’ve analyzed few success stories that are published by Instagram on their official business page, and based on this survey, we’ve come to the following common statistics that can be expected if you run Instagram stories ads:
- More purchases with ads in Stories compared to feed
- Lower cost per acquisition with ads in Stories compared to feed
- Larger % of prospecting purchases attributable to ads in Instagram Stories
- Increased lift in ad recall and overall awareness
Additionally, one important metric that marketers usually define for their Instagram marketing objectives is to increase website clicks is the Link Clicks metric.
This comes from the common practice to create Instagram story ads just to get the CTA option that allows you to add a custom link in the story. This is the main use case for Instagram accounts that still do not have the option to add links to their organic stories.
Here are other Instagram Story Ads metrics you will need to monitor:
- Results: Link Clicks
- Cost per Result
- Result Rate
- Result Rate
- Unique link clicks
- Landing page views
- Relevance score
To access the insights of the Instagram story ads you will need to go to your Facebook Ads Manager account and view the Chart data for the Instagram story ad. The main report that you will need to monitor looks like the sample below:
Bonus: Tools to bring you good results
As we all know, Instagram Stories is a great way to share the little moments in life with your followers. And now you don’t have to invest thousands of dollars in design firms or software just for this purpose- there are plenty of free tools available for your Instagram content to bring you a number of views and engagement.
Here’s a list of the tools you should consider to boost the performance of Insta stories:
1. Stories IG maker – Canva is a popular tool when it comes to creating high-quality social media content, especially Instagram posts and stories. There are many templates you can use and with their easy drag-and-drop editor you can go beyond creativity. You can add stickers, imagery, and anything that may amaze Instagram users.
2. Instagram stories animator – You can use Boomerang to create unexpected Instagram videos for your stories. Instagram itself has this animation, but this tool offers you to create videos in a more creative way and not only for your Insta stories and Reels, but also for stories on other platforms as Snapchat, TikTok, or even WhatsApp.
3. Instagram stories scheduler – Well, not always you’ll have the time to post stories manually on your profile page. Buffer is a great tool that helps you schedule your stories in advance and punctually publish them on your Instagram profile. It’s a very popular tool between influencers, businesses, and creators.
4. Insta stories generator – EmbedStories is the right tool if you want to expand the reach of your stories beyond Instagram. It allows you to create a widget of your Insta stories and display them on your website. It integrates with the Instagram algorithm which allows you to bring your Instagram account to your website. Moreover, you can also mimic story highlights. Now, your subscribers can watch Instagram stories on your website!
5. Insta hashtag generator – What’s an Instagram app without hashtags? Hashtag For Likes is the tool that will help you enlarge that Instagram viewers list. Depending on your Instagram marketing goal, this generator will bring up easy, medium, and hard hashtags in chronological order. Whatever ones you choose to use it’s up to you.
6. Instagram story viewer – Stories disappear in 24 hours, but you can still archive them so your followers can still view Instagram stories later on. You can use the native Instagram options to archive and download Instagram stories, but you can level up and save the best stories in a web-based app as EmbedStories.
Instagram stories are the most native format that has proven to provide great results for digital marketers, and many businesses already are incorporating them as a vital part of their content strategy.
By understanding the Instagram algorithm and with the right content and constant improvement in the visual designs by using gifs, video, or various story templates, you can achieve great results. We’ve seen that there are lots of unique metrics for this format, that need to be monitored and analyzed in order to improve every future campaign that will include both organic or sponsored Instagram stories.