Stories began with Snapchat, a communication service that had a unique design philosophy of transience. Snapchat was around for two years before it had stories, nothing was saved for longterm read/write access. Upon opening and viewing a photo or a video it was quickly removed, gone forever. This was their unique selling point, it gave users a feeling of being apart of something special that wasn't distictly recorded, you had to "be there". Of course there were ways around it, and this design philosphy had it's own problems to contend with. However stories were a natural middleground for Snapchat, a way to have some permanence but keep the their own ISP alive. So when Snapchat introduced Stories 2 years after it's initial release, it made perfect sense, I would almost say it was genius.
Noteably around the same time Facebook tried and failed to buy Snapchat, following with the aggressive introduction of Instagram stories.
Now it's Novemeber 2020 and Twitter has launched "Fleets" which are essentially, Twitter's version of stories. From one perspective you could see this as an honest inevitability, stories were hugely popular for Snapchat and Instagram why shouldn't they work for Twitter? I don't think this is true, rather stories are a fascinating admission of failure, let me go back to what I just said. Stories made perfect sense for Snapchat, they fitted their design philosphy like a glove, it was a piece of genuine innovation. Okay, so why did Instagram and other social media gravitate to stories in the first place? Simple, too much information and a general lack of officially supported curation tools.
As social media has grown and investors try to find the best way to make money, there has been an ever growing need for users to consume as much content as possible. The focus has drifted from communication functionality to maximizing the volume of information each user consumes. I'm not breaking any new ground here, many people are already aware of this, but when you observe this next to the development of stories it becomes obvious. Social media is generating and propagating information at such an incredible rate and in such an unpredictable fashion we have no easy way to wade through it. The solution? Stories of course...!
Stories are a way for users to curate what they want their followers to see, but surely that's what social media was for in the first place...? This solution shouldn't be appealing, and it wouldn't be if feeds and timelines weren't so unpredictable. Stories are a