YouTube discontinues stories

YouTube discontinues stories

YouTube Stories shuts down in the face of poor uptake and dissatisfied feedback. Is this the beginning of the end for copycat social practices?

Every social media lover remembers the launch of Snapchat Stories in 2013. Widely considered the advent of instant content sharing, the photo communication app saw major success. In 2016, Instagram followed suit with a Stories feature that mimicked Snapchat’s. Despite disbelief from many consumers, Instagram Stories rapidly grew in popularity. In fact, Snapchat’s user rate fell 82%* when their rival launched.

YouTube Stories

We can only assume that YouTube was searching for a similar result when they launched a Stories feature in 2018. However, the tool was only available for those who had 10k+ followers. And videos would stay up for a full seven days, instead of the usual 24-hour turnaround.

YouTube’s short-term content sharing had a few unique restrictions – like not allowing supervised accounts or accounts with young audiences to post Stories. The video-sharing platform never saw major popularity for their copycat idea. But was this feature’s failure due to these small differences, or can it be pinned on user exhaustion?

Social media giants seem to be intent on becoming one another. Platforms are shopping popular features left and right – but consumers aren’t buying it.

On June 23, 2024, YouTube users will no longer be able to post new Stories. The platform is urging users to be active on other parts of the app – like Communities and Shorts. YouTube isn’t the first to ditch their version of the popular sharing feature. And it doesn’t look like they’ll be the last.

What does this mean for you?

In a world of monkey see, monkey do, which path will consumers choose?

As marketers, we view each social channel as unique – catering to the features that set them apart. As platforms try to expand their offering, it’s easy to feel confused about how to target content.

When YouTube and Snapchat attempt to pull from the same pool, a top marketer stays true to its clients’ core audiences. Stories are an easy addition to a photo-sharing platform built for the digital generation, like Instagram. In contrast, YouTube’s identity as a social media and borderline streaming platform means viewership is widely varied.

At the end of the day, platforms aren’t our audience – they’re a tool to reach our consumers. We make content that matters. So, we must weave through the weeds and target the real people who actually use a platform.

Are you on a journey to access your key audiences and target them with thumb-stopping content? Reach out to build your social-first strategy today.