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Web stories are everywhere these days! From social media story formats on closed platforms like Facebook & Instagram Stories to open platforms like Google AMP web stories and Firework Stories.

While each social media platform has its advantages when it comes to adoption and innovation, Web Stories are seeing a resurgence in interest from publishers, and beating social media stories at their own game. 

A new era of publishing and web stories

While most folks might think that Web Stories are just a refined version of what is a burgeoning series of media formats across Snapchat, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn and other social media platforms. Here’s a primer from a previous post we shared.

So, if you’re wondering what are the main differences between traditional forms of Web Stories on social media and Web Stories on the open web, for starters, here’s three reasons: 

  • Ease of creation: Social Networks Stories have a clear advantage when it comes about the creation. In just a few taps, you can publish an engaging story that could go viral with your social network.
  • New web stories, newer means to publish: While stories on social media platforms are geared towards simplicity and ease of creation, Web Stories give you a more granular control of the flow and enable newer ways to connect with your audience such as through embedded content or related articles that traditional formats do not have.
  • Search engine optimization: The biggest advantage for a Google AMP or Web Story is the opportunity to load fast and load in Search Engine Results and, better yet, to be shared with anyone on the open web.

As a publisher, the goal is to have a presence on every social media platform but not all social platforms are suited for your publisher brand and it is clear that the open web stories strategy should be a critical part of your publisher strategy.

Here’s a more detailed breakdown between web stories and social media stories:

Features Open Web Stories Social Media Stories
Reach  On the Open Web No, remains private on each social media platform 
Organic Search Results?   Yes, on Search Results  No, within siloed platform search only 
Desktop Friendly?  Yes No
Website Embeds?  Yes  No, Platform-dependent 
Content Lifetime  Unlimited, value increases with time (see Search Results)  Ephemeral, Platform-dependent
Ease of Creation  Few lines of HTML code Mobile Apps
Type of Content  Text, Pictures, Audio, Video, Captions, GIFs, included  Similar, video heavy 
Impact of Content  Include robust storytelling elements for publishers  Limited control given by apps 
Calls to Action  Links to Articles, Related Content, Embed, Share, Menu Like, RT, DM, Polls 
Production Support  Robust pre-production  Mobile App Dependent 
Mobile Optimization  Yes  Yes 

What makes web stories stand out 

  • A fuller desktop version: With a story, any publisher can inform their audience or connect with readers better  in a format tailored for mobile. Also, web stories work perfectly on multiple platforms including full-fledged news-friendly desktop.
  • A more comprehensive visual presence: Web Stories provides an engaging and visual way to consume content in a full-screen experience. Indeed, a story can bring together images, video, and text in a beautiful and animated visual flow that’s tailored for news, unlike an Instagram Story or Reels.
  • Search more, find your stories on the web: The best part is that your Web Stories will also find themselves into Google Search Results. Not only because, Google’s own version of web stories (AMP) caters to search results and loads them very quickly. Another important feature for publishers to consider. 
  • Better interaction with your readers: We wrote an earlier piece on how Web Stories are perfect machines for storytelling, unlike any other stories format. Better yet, you can insert more efficient call to action to display more information or even redirect to your website.
  • All it takes is a few lines of code: Finally, ease of use of the product matters and Web Stories delivers in spades. You can create a story with just a few lines of HTML code and or  Javascript, and display it on your website if it’s AMP. Ditto for other Web Stories, including Firework. 

It is still the beginning, and only for a certain kind of content. More and more content will be soon available in your favorite search engine.Web Stories are here to stay… and in the open web. If you’ve any questions, either as a publisher or as a brand, please leave us a comment below or just tweet us at @fireworkhq or on LinkedIn

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