Conviva, the leader in global streaming media intelligence, released its third annual Instagram Stories Benchmark Report today, revealing stories are getting shorter and are posted less frequently than in years past. However, average completion and reach rates continue to increase, demonstrating widespread adoption of Instagram Stories.

Conviva analyzed over 920 top Instagram accounts and 28,700 individual stories across four industry verticals – sports, media, entertainment and brands – comparing Instagram Stories from Q1 2020 versus Q1 2019.

“More than half of Instagram’s one billion plus users are consuming Instagram Stories daily and they are one of the most powerful engagement tools in use by brands today,” said Nick Cicero, VP of Strategy, Conviva. “The brands that find new and creative ways to effectively use this medium will not only gain followers, but also will greatly benefit from an engaged audience.”

Media Surpasses Sports as COVID-19 Causes Uptick in News-Based Stories

Unlike previous years, sports posting on Instagram Stories was down considerably from the year before, in a quarter that saw most professional sports leagues postpone their seasons in early March. As the global pandemic emerged, media overtook sports as the category that posted most frequently, posting 2.7 stories a week (as compared with sports posting 2.6 stories a week) and averaged more frames per story than sports. Local news maintained the highest reach rate among media categories while global news accounts posted the most frequently. Niche media, organizations that focus on a specific topic rather than a geographically defined audience, offered the longest Instagram stories, with an average of 6.3 frames per story this year.

Shorter, But Not Always Sweeter

Despite data showing longer stories increase reach, average frames per story decreased among companies in the media, entertainment and sports sectors in 2020. Brands was the only sector to increase story length, with an average of 5.5 frames per story in 2020, up from 5.2 frames in 2019.

Conviva found completion rates increased on average for most story lengths, while exit rate steadily declines as the viewer gets further into a story until it eventually averages out around 2% per frame. There is very little difference between the exit rate for images versus videos. Interestingly, image frames do have a higher exit rate than video frames on the first frame of a story.

Examining User Behavior

Conviva examined the tap forward and tap back rate and uncovered interesting trends in viewer behavior. Tap forward rate is significantly lower for the first two frames of a story while at best, only 5% of impressions result in a tap back, which occurs most frequently on the 4th frame in a story.

An analysis of over 165,000 individual frames shows the lowest percentage of user actions, including tap forwards, tap backs or exits, occurs on the second frame. Suggesting that the second frame is therefore a prime content spot as it is least likely to be interrupted by a user action.

 Replies On For Increased Reach

For accounts with replies turned on, the average reach rate was 2.1% higher than those with replies turned off. In 2020, 66% of accounts averaged at least one reply per story. This is a full reversal from 2019 when 66% of accounts had replies turned off.

Download the full report: www.conviva.com/research/instagram-stories-benchmark-report-2020/

About Conviva
Conviva is the leader in streaming media intelligence, powered by its real-time platform. More than 250 industry leaders and brands – including CBS, CCTV, Cirque Du Soleil, DAZN, Disney+, HBO, Hulu, Sky, Sling TV, TED, Univision and WarnerMedia – rely on Conviva to maximize their consumer engagement, deliver the quality experiences viewers expect and drive revenue growth. With a global footprint of more than 500 million unique viewers watching 150 billion streams per year across 3 billion applications streaming on devices, Conviva offers streaming providers unmatched scale for continuous video measurement, intelligence and benchmarking across every stream, every screen, every second.

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