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Story (social media)

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In social media, a story is a function in which the user tells a narrative or provides status messages and information in the form of short, time-limited clips in an automatically running sequence.[1]


A story is a short sequence of images, videos, or other social media content, which can be accompanied by backgrounds, music, text, stickers, animations, filters or emojis. Social media platforms typically advance through the sequence automatically when presenting a story to a viewer. Although the sequential nature of stories can be used to tell a narrative, the pieces of a story can also be unrelated. Social media platforms that offer stories will typically have a primary story for each user which consists of everything the user posted to their story over a certain period of time, usually the most recent 24 hours. Most stories cannot be changed afterwards and are only available for a short time. Stories are almost exclusively created on a mobile device such as a smartphone or tablet computer and are usually displayed vertically.[2]


In October 2013, Snapchat first introduced the story function as a series of Snaps that can together tell a narrative through a chronological order, with each Snap being viewable by all of the poster's friends and deleted after 24 hours. Stories soon surpassed private Snaps to become Snapchat's most-viewed type of post.[3] After 2015, Snapchat introduced a feature allowing users to post private stories viewable by a chosen subset of their friends.[citation needed] Later other apps would copy this feature.[citation needed]

In August 2016, Instagram introduced a stories function that deletes the content after 24 hours.[4] Various commenters have accused the site of copying Snapchat.[5]

In February 2017, the instant messenger WhatsApp introduced the Now Status stories function in beta, which was later renamed Status.[6] In March 2017, a story function was introduced in Facebook Messenger.[7]

In February 2018, Google launched AMP Stories, bringing a story-style format to certain Google search results on mobile devices.[8]

In August 2018, YouTube introduced a stories function that initially was limited to pictures, but was later expanded to support short video clips.[9][10] The feature was shut down in June 2023.[11]

In August 2018, the GIF website Giphy introduced a story function.[12]

In March 2022, TikTok added a story feature which allowed users to create 15 second long videos that delete after 24 hours.[13]

In June 2023, Telegram CEO Pavel Durov, announce to release story feature to app on July 2023.[14] In July 2023, Telegram released story for premium users for the first update, and start on August 2023 it's roll out for all users.

Usage statistics[edit]

In 2019, around 1.5 billion people worldwide every day on average used the stories function in a social network or messenger. Younger people in particular use this function. More than 20% of people aged 18 to 24 use Instagram stories, while it is just under 2% of those over 55.[15]

In a Facebook survey of 18,000 participants from 12 countries, 68% said they used the stories function at least once a month. Stories in the areas of fashion and tourism are particularly popular.[16]

The website Fanpage Karma analyzed several Instagram accounts and determined the average reach of posts and stories per follower, concluding that posts have a higher reach than stories, which often have less than half the reach.[17]

Further reading[edit]

  • Menon, Devadas (2022-05-01). "Updating 'Stories' on social media and its relationships to contextual age and narcissism: A tale of three platforms – WhatsApp, Instagram and Facebook". Heliyon. 8 (5). https://doi.org/10.1016/j.heliyon.2022.e09412
  • Ruth Page: Narratives Online: Shared Stories in Social Media, [Cambridge University Press]], 2018, ISBN 9781107139916


  1. ^ Menon, Devadas (2022-05-01). "Updating 'Stories' on social media and its relationships to contextual age and narcissism: A tale of three platforms – WhatsApp, Instagram and Facebook". Heliyon. 8 (5): e09412. Bibcode:2022Heliy...809412M. doi:10.1016/j.heliyon.2022.e09412. ISSN 2405-8440. PMC 9119837. PMID 35600438. S2CID 248806155.
  2. ^ Prof Dr Claudia Hilker. "Wie wirken sich Social Media Stories auf das Kaufverhalten aus?". Archived from the original on 2019-07-31. Retrieved 2019-07-31.
  3. ^ Hamburger, Ellis (20 June 2014). "Surprise: Snapchat's most popular feature isn't snaps anymore". The Verge. Vox Media. Retrieved 2 December 2023.
  4. ^ RP ONLINE (2 August 2016). "Neue Geschichten-Funktion: Instagram wird Snapchat ähnlicher". Retrieved 2019-07-31.
  5. ^ "Chatten übers Chatten: "Instagram ist jetzt das schlechtere Snapchat"". Der Spiegel. 2016-08-04.
  6. ^ Annegret Mehlfeld. "WhatsApp: Neue Statusmeldung kopiert Stories-Funktion von Snapchat". Retrieved 2019-07-31.
  7. ^ "Facebook führt Snapchat-Funktion "Stories" ein" (in German). 2017-03-28. Archived from the original on 2019-07-31. Retrieved 2019-07-31.
  8. ^ Bohn, Dieter (13 February 2018). "The "Stories" format is coming to Google search next". The Verge. Vox Media. Retrieved 2 December 2023.
  9. ^ Jens Minor (2018-08-02). "YouTube Stories: Auch Googles Videoplattform führt jetzt eine Stories-Funktion ein - so funktioniert es - GWB". GoogleWatchBlog (in German). Retrieved 2019-07-31.
  10. ^ Melchior, Laura. "YouTube testet eigene Stories-Funktion". INTERNET WORLD Business (in German). Retrieved 2 December 2023.
  11. ^ Sato, Mia (25 May 2023). "YouTube is killing Stories". The Verge. Vox Media. Retrieved 2 December 2023.
  12. ^ Dami Lee (2018-08-20). "Giphy is launching its own take on stories with curated GIFs throughout the day". Retrieved 2019-07-31.
  13. ^ "TikTok Stories: What It Is and How to Use It". TikTok Creator Portal. 2022-03-25. Retrieved 2022-10-06.
  14. ^ "Telegram is adding Stories next month". 2023-06-26. Retrieved 2023-06-26.
  15. ^ "Infografik: Wer nutzt Instagram Stories?". 19 March 2019. Retrieved 2019-07-31.
  16. ^ "Warum Marketer mit dem Format "Stories" Marken hervorheben können". Retrieved 2019-07-31.
  17. ^ Jan Firsching (2018-11-14). "Feed schlägt Stories: Durchschnittliche Reichweite von Instagram Stories und Posts im Feed". Futurebiz (in German). Retrieved 2019-07-31.