Towards the end of last year, Facebook released a feature on Instagram that allows users to automatically cross-share their Instagram Stories with their friends on their Facebook accounts. This year, it seems that Facebook is testing out a similar feature, that allows users to cross-share these same Stories with the friends they have on Whatsapp as well.
Instagram users in Brazil first noticed that the feature was being tested a few days ago after which Whatsapp confirmed with Tech Crunch that such tests were indeed being carried out. It seems that Facebook is trying to spread the popularity of its Instagram Stories function with the rest of the applications it owns.
Relevance to Brands: Ease Internal Communications
Given that most brands do not have a Whatsapp account or number dedicated to their fans, cross-sharing to Whatsapp is unlikely to lead to higher exposure or publicity. Instead, brands can make use of this function to ease internal communications.
Brands can link their Instagram Stories to a work number that only has contacts with other individuals within the company itself. Whenever a story is posted on a brand’s Instagram account, it can be cross-shared to Whatsapp, which is easily accessible via employees’ work phones. Then, employees, especially those involved in digital and social media marketing can be informed of the posting in a simple and efficient manner.
This is particularly useful for companies who have an international presence but who manage their social media posts by country or region. At the very least, teams can be informed of each others’ posts quickly, so that they are kept regularly updated. Teams can be informed of each others’ Instagram stories and choose to edit and repost the material if they so desire.
Relevance to Influencers: Increase Exposure & Publicity
In the same way that influencers can use the function to cross-share their posts on Facebook to reach a wider audience, they can also do so with Whatsapp to achieve the same goal. Cross-sharing on Facebook allows influencers to reach followers across the generations, with Facebook being more popular among Gen Y and before and Instagram being more well-used among Gen Z and millennials. Cross-sharing to Whatsapp, on the other hand, allows influencers to increase the chances of their stories being seen by those whom they already have a working relationship with.
Since Whatsapp makes use of phone numbers as a mode of identification, the individuals that an influencer has on Whatsapp is likely to be someone they are already in contact with. While these people can range from close friends and family members to acquaintances that they have just met, they are unlikely to be complete strangers. This means that influencers could potentially answer their questions personally if they were to have any queries about the product or service the influencer is promoting.
Although the function of cross-sharing of Instagram stories to Facebook has been available for several months, this is not something that has been taken up by most users. It remains to see whether cross-sharing to Whatsapp stories will have a better uptake if it is introduced.