In recent years, the popularity of social media story formats has seen an increase, changing the social media content creation from well-thought feed posts to more rapid, more spontaneous posting.
Adapting to the content demand of stories means not only more work but also a change in the mindset. The demand for content is increasing, and the content must be created at a faster pace while still maintaining the appealing visual style.
“Creating content for social media, especially for stories, takes a lot of time,” says Julia Markhadaeva, a Co-Founder of to Stories . “The problem is that the attention span on social media is very low and because of this, your content is better to look great, engaging, and catchy or otherwise the audience will churn. The reality is, however, that many people do not have any design skills whatsoever, which means that there is a barrier between them and creating visually engaging content for social media.”
To answer to this need, Markhadaeva and her co-founders created the to Stories app in 2020. To Stories automatically creates designs for social media stories from various types of content spread across the web or stored from the user’s mobile device. The story content can be created either from links, such as traditional websites links, Youtube video links, or tweet links, or from multiple photos. With To Stories, the content for the story is created in a quick and easy manner and without sacrificing the crucial visual style that is traditionally achieved only by visually skilled users and photo editing programs.
“The inspiration behind the to Stories app are people and the different things they tend to share with their audience,” explains Markhadaeva. “Sometimes these things are not only their photos and videos but anything: a great book, nice talk on a podcast, an interview on YouTube, some notes, or a combination of everything together.”
When a link is inserted, to Stories generates a preview based on the metadata. This preview can be as a sticker or one of the various poster-format designs provided by the app. With pictures, to Stories creates a photo collage based on the number of photos created, using pre-made, visually engaging templates.
“We want to make sure that to Stories covers 80% of daily routines for every creator, becoming a lightweight content design studio in your pocket.”
Adapting the knowledge of the user behaviour
When to Stories launched its first version in 2020, it was an experimental, very small app with only two features: sharing photos and videos directly to one’s Instagram story. After launching the first version, the company collected feedback from the early users while learning more about the habits, pain points, and the new patterns on what people do on social media, including the way content is shared and created by the users. Based on both the findings and the feedback, to Stories launched an updated version in November 2020, bringing the current app on the market. Since then, the app has been developed to meet the ever-changing environment it works in.
“Instagram recently enabled all of its users to attach a link to their story,” Markhadaeva explains. “Before, this feature was only available for creators with over 10,000 followers. Due to this change, we see more people starting to share different kinds of content, and because of the update, we will be releasing more templates soon.”
Simplifying story content creation for business and creators alike
While a large portion of the users of the to Stories app are active social media content creators such as YouTubers, podcasters, lifestyle bloggers, and other kinds of influencers, Markhadaeva sees the potential for business use.
“Everyone who has a lot of content to distribute or share from other platforms can benefit from to Stories,” she says. “The app makes the content design for social media as efficient and fun as possible. In fact, we want to make sure that to Stories covers 80% of daily routines for every creator, becoming a lightweight content design studio in your pocket.”