How Businesses Are Starting to Use Instagram Stories

Two weeks ago we launched Instagram Stories — a new feature that lets you share all the personal moments of your day, not just the ones you want to keep on your profile. Since the launch, people in our community have come out from behind their cameras to share their behind-the-scenes moments, daily happenings and personalities through stories. More than just people in our community, businesses of all sizes around the world have been sharing stories with their followers, too. “It’s early days but we’ve been impressed with the types of stories brands are sharing — from behind the scenes to new product offers — in all industries from automotive to fashion,” says global lead for Instagram Creative Shop, Kay Hsu. “It’s fun to see business’ personalities shine through their stories.”

Here’s how a few brands in our business community are approaching Instagram Stories:

J.Crew To run a one-day pre-sale of its new Jane in Pink sunglasses among its loyal Instagram community, J.Crew (@jcrew) turned to stories. Because stories disappear after 24-hours, this was the ideal place for the company to experiment with a limited-time sale. Centered around the sunglass’ distinctive color, the pink-centric story featured staffers at J.Crew headquarters sporting the rose colored glasses in a natural, personal and fun way. The story complemented the brand’s feed to make sure people saw the pre-sale information and didn’t miss out on the excitement.


In a behind-the-scenes story, Mercedes-Benz (@mercedesbenz) shared a compilation of videos and photos of a photo shoot highlighting its Mercedes-AMG model. The rainy story not only showed off the dramatic German countryside, but the latest features of the vehicle.

Taco Bell

In its inaugural story, the food chain ventured into the world of the unknown. Using a combination of videos and features of stories — like the drawing tool — Taco Bell (@tacobell) employees entered the world of stories. Once inside, they asked Taco Bell enthusiasts to direct message them what they’d like to see most — food, games or behind the scenes — on its Instagram Stories feed. After the initial story ran, the company tailored its content based on its community’s participation.

AFAR Media

Multi-platform travel media brand, AFAR Media (@afaremedia), shared its first Instagram Story from Germany’s Mosel Valley. Its associate editor in chief took followers on a tour around the quaint village — from wine tasting to capturing views atop Bernakstel-Kues. At the end of its story, AFAR Media captured a shot of its website encouraging viewers to enter its Traveler’s Choice awards.


In its first short, but tasty story, Starbucks (@starbucks) showcases its iconic caffeinated drinks that are perfect for summer. Through a combination of photos and video — both enhanced with the stories neon drawing tool — the coffee chain highlights its chilled cold brew and iced Americano with cream.

Whether it’s spontaneous, insightful, quirky or dramatic, these are a few ways businesses are experimenting with stories. For more inspiration, take a look at the ways some of your favorite businesses approach Instagram Stories. Over time we look forward to introducing new advertising and other business opportunities as part of Instagram Stories. In the meantime, we’re excited to see all the ways our community will use it to highlight their businesses on Instagram.


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