How re-sharing/re-posting got a new life with Stories

Reposting(or retweeting if you’re a twitter addict) is typically a problematic feature used to drive growth when supply is limited or stagnating in a 2 sided network. However with Instagram stories it’s taken a new life altogether. Before we dive into it’s new form with stories, let’s explore some of the issues with reposting. Don Hoffman also covered some of the issues with reposting content —

  1. Reduces incentive to create OG content

2. Amplifies few opinions — Instead of taking the content at face value people tend to promote what is already popular. Just like we upvote answers with a lot of upvotes on Quora. This prevents newer content getting the recognition it deserves.

3. Leads to Spam —You might have observed this behavior on Twitter where a particular user (mostly celebs) retweets every positive tweet at once.

Stories without any doubt has been one of the biggest innovations in the last 10 yrs in the social media space. Ephemeral sharing has users sharing more content & communicating freely. To add to it, there’s no history. So one can shit-post all one wants!

For the longest time, the news feed was the default format for social networks.

News Feed — default representation of a social network.

As your friends grew & sharing increased due to the limited amount of space available on the feed, feeds evolved to show you the best content algorithmically. This created a couple of issues.

  1. Reach cut down — As a creator, all your posts didn’t reach your friends/followers.
  2. Sub-optimal experience — Based on the frequency of opens, you could easily miss a friend’s imp post/life update.

Stories turned this consumption model on it’s head. Instead of a passive consumption experience, you could now choose to watch the content you wanted. Also instead of posts, your friends were at the center of the social network. The friends you were most interested in would come ahead, while the rest of the posts would go back.

Stories changed the consumption model from passive to active.
  1. Friends at the core — Your friends instead of posts were at the center of the experience. It was easier to choose which friends to choose to show upfront.
  2. No Spam — Since the consumption model was changed, now you could post as much as you wanted & your friends could consume stuff based on their preferences.

And due to active consumption, creators could re-share content freely without worrying about spamming their followers. Since there were no stats on the shared image — the content would typically be re-shared/re-posted on it’s own strength thus reducing the possibility that few opinions would rabidly spread through the network(though this doesn’t kill the possibility of fake news being spread).

Repost with Stories — No spam, no viral spread of fake news & great way to discover content

What are your views on resharing? Should Twitter get rid of re-tweeting now that both like & re-tweet are treated in a similar fashion? How would Instagram solve the discovery challenges it faces with stories?

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