Twitter uses Instagram to showcase Twitter using Instagram… (repeat to fade)

Instagram stories are fast-becoming a fundamental part of brands’ social media strategy. They’re a great way to show a more human, less formal side to a brand, and they’re popular with consumers (400 million of them a day). Media buyers cite ease of use, a relatively low-cost CPM and the unpolished production that’s become a feature of Stories, as being the main drivers behind the increase in adoption. And of course, clickable posts means brands can drive traffic from Instagram to other sites.

Brands crushing it on Instagram are those that truly understand the needs and wants of their audiences. Twitter is a perfect example. It is unapologetically using Instagram Stories to drive new users to its own platform, by creating clickable Stories that highlight trending topics on Twitter and lure people from Instagram to its own platform.
This clever use of Instagram by Twitter shows a real understanding of what its audience cares about (and Tweets about). It posts news, celebrity stories, sports and stories about social causes to Instagram Stories.  Users swipe up in the Instagram app to be taken to their own Twitter account to view the full story. Anyone that doesn’t have a Twitter account is prompted to sign up, of course.

Twitter has struggled to connect with younger users, and has suffered by comparison to newer, younger platforms like Instagram. Its user base is older than Instagram’s, and it needs to connect with younger users to secure its future. Where better to do this, than on Instagram itself? As Twitter has repositioned itself as more of a news outlet (rather than purely a social platform) it has proved that it understands the needs of a younger user base, and is tapping into the social platform of the moment to drive new users.

I can’t help wondering how Instagram feels about this. But the ‘snackable’ viewing mechanism of Instagram Stories links perfectly with Twitter’s own abbreviated (280-character limit) story format. If users make that connection, what a great way to gain new users for Twitter!

Of course, I’m sure the irony of using a competitor social platform to advertise its own wasn’t lost on either Twitter, or its users, but at the end of the day it’s clearly working and benefitting the brand.

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