The introduction of Stories last August (just turned one!,) is making Instagram one of the more important channels for brands looking to expand their social presence. We are already well aware of the drama that surrounds the whole 'stealing Snapchat' dilemma, but Instagram is doing it better and big brands are noticing.
A recent study conducted by Klear, analyzed 149 popular brands in 8 industries to see how they are using Instagram Stories to drive sales and what type of content worked best for their particular industry.
The biggest discrepancy between Instagram Stories and Snapchat Story is the ability to link and mention users. Instagram's "swipe up" feature allows brands to link a URL to their story, letting users see more content if they choose to. This is huge for product promotion and purchase capabilities.
According to the study, the most active industries on Instagram Stories are by far the fitness and fashion sectors. This is indicitive of the popularity of these types of accounts on Instagram already.
Brands are using Instagram Stories to not only reach Instagram's 700 million total users versus Snapchat’s 166 million, but also to boost their messaging through inspiring and creative content.