Instagram has had a response to all the social media applications that have tried to dethrone it. It launched Instagram Stories to compete against SnapChat and now it’s clone-feature is 2x more popular than SnapChat.
Similarly, the photo-first app recently came up with Instagram Reels to beat TikTok in the race to get viewers’ attention with bite-sized video content. Recently, it has released Instagram notes. Along with that, it also seems working on Instagram group profiles.
The latest feature Instagram plans to roll out is rhe Candid Stories. Candid Stories or Candids are Instagram’s answer to BeReal, the most downloaded app of September 2022 in the Apple store.
But what are Candid Stories and how can marketers use them? We’ve all the answers you need to know about Instagram’s BeReal lookalike feature in today’s post — from what makes the feature different to the best ways to use it.
Let’s dig in.
What is a Candid Story?
Instagram Candid Stories aim to connect users more authentically. Candids are Stories but without filters, shared in real-time.
A few years back, Candids may have been a completely flop feature. More and more people were interested in trying filters that enhanced their features or made them look funny (hint: the dog filter). SnapChat kick-started this trend of posting Stories with filters but Instagram was quick to adopt it.
Lately though, tired of filtered, unreal content, social media enthusiasts have opened up to sharing unedited, in-the-moment pictures of themselves. This welcome change has been popularized by BeReal, the French app that allows users to capture a picture in real-time, and post it without polishing it with filters.
Essentially, BeReal sends a daily notification to its users to capture what they’re doing with both the front and the back camera. If a user is late in sharing the click, the app notifies other users of this delay, hinting that the picture may have been edited. The idea behind it? To live an unfiltered life and share your ‘real’ version with your friends.
Candid Stories on Instagram are very similar to BeReal. According to what Instagram has revealed, the app will notify users to share a ‘Candid’ moment once a day. The feature will capture a Story from the selfie and rear cameras simultaneously and there will be no option to use filters.
Users will have the liberty to turn off their daily Candid notifications as well. It’s not known yet whether Instagram will mention to followers if a user delays in posting their story though.
Note that at the time of writing this post, Instagram’s Candids are still in the testing pipeline, with no news of when the app will officially launch the feature.
ℹ️ Add other's IG Candid to your story tray. And everyday at a different time, get a notification to capture and share a Photo in 2 Minutes. pic.twitter.com/caTCgUPtEV
— Alessandro Paluzzi (@alex193a) August 22, 2022
How to post Candid Stories On Instagram?
Until your fingers get used to posting Candid Stories to Instagram, you’ll need some guidance on how to do so.
Fortunately, Instagram has unveiled how it plans to integrate Candid Stories into the application and how users can post their Candids.
So, here are three ways you can post a Candid Story:
- Use your Stories camera to post a Candid. For this, open Instagram and click on the ‘+’ icon in the middle. Select ‘Story’ to access the Stories camera.
- Another option: click on the Candid notification you get. This will take you to the app’s camera. The Story you capture through this route will be shared as a Candid.
- You can also click on the Candid multi-author Story beside your Story/profile icon at the top of your feed. The Candid Stories cover will be bright pink with a smiley in white and clicking on it will give you the option to capture your own Candid Story.
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How does an Instagram Candid Story differ from regular Stories?
You’ll notice a couple of differences between a typical Instagram story and an Instagram Candid Story.
Candid Stories won’t be shared with everyone. Your regular Stories are shared with either all of your followers or a close friends’ list. Candids, on the other hand, will be shared with only those of your followers who’ve also shared their Candids. So, someone who isn’t participating in sharing candid moments won’t be able to keep an eye on others’ Candids.
As you know you can post as many Instagram Stories per day as you want, at the same time you’ll only be allowed to post a single Candid shot daily. So, from a marketing perspective, Instagram Candids will be posted in a more stress-free manner, without the burden of editing or posting multiple times to keep the audience in the loop.
Another difference will likely be in the placement of Stories. While you can view regular Stories of those you follow under their individual Profile icons at the top of the feed, Candids will be available under a single icon.
Candids may have other editing & management tools but they won’t have any filters. So, you’ll be able to add text but the picture captured (from both the cameras, unlike in the case of typical stories) will be unfiltered. This way, Candids will celebrate you for who you are, rather than an edited version of your face or lifestyle.
Instagram hasn’t disclosed any more about its much-awaited Candids. While we know users will receive a daily notification to capture a Candid Story, we’re not sure if they’ll be able to post Candid videos or if Candids will be limited to images. We also don’t know if Candids will be eligible for adding to your Story Highlights.
We can assume though that like regular Stories, users will be able to add timestamps and text to Candids. Moreover, Candids will also disappear after 24 hours of posting and will be saved for the owners in their Stories Archive. Users will also be able to respond to each other’s Candids using messages, Instagram DMs, likes, and emoji reactions.
6 effective ways marketers can use Instagram Candid Stories
Only time will reveal if Candids will become a Instagram marketing fad or they’ll be a feature that only a selective people will enjoy.
However, with BeReal becoming a marketing avenue for brands like e.l.f Cosmetics, it’s clear that marketers will wholeheartedly accept Candids, at the very least.
But how exactly can you tap into this Instagram new feature though? Here are our top 5 ways marketers can make use of Instagram Candids:
With Instagram Candids, marketers will get a chance to practice inclusive marketing or diversity. Such marketing represents people of different appearance, ethnicity or gender identity in its ads or other promotional content.
Why is this important? Because inclusive marketing promotes positivity and builds connections with different types of people on an emotional level.
Candid Stories will give marketers an opportunity to authentically show off their diverse workforce, ads, models, or influencer collaborations. In fact, just a portrayal of an inclusive day-to-day lifestyle can work wonders to help you connect with your target audience.
One thing to keep in mind though: steer clear of tone deaf messaging and stereotypical representations as that can quickly backfire by positioning you as an insensitive brand
Show your brand’s human side
As generations progress, people want to see a more authentic side of your brand. With the rise of organic content, behind-the-scenes posts serve as a great way to show off the human side of your business.
Brands have leveraged different Instagram features to give their audience an insider’s view of what goes on behind the cameras and computers. Candids will add to the tools that marketers can use for giving behind-the-scenes glimpses of a brand.
Since you’ll be able to post just a single Candid shot a day, and that too unfiltered, such Stories will be more believable.
BTS content doesn’t have to be limited to showing a positive company culture though. You can show different areas of your business’s working — depending on what you’re doing at the time you receive a Candid notification from the ‘gram.
For instance, you can share how your products are made or packaged or what brainstorming or teamwork goes into creating your products. You can also share a BTS of a video campaign you may be shooting.
Find user-generated content
You can’t miss out the opportunity to encourage and find user-generated content when talking about authentic marketing.
Not only is user-generated content more trustable but it also is highly effective in swaying customers’ purchase decisions. About 79% of customers believe UGC impacts their buying decisions.
But how can you find user-generated content through Candid Stories? Simple: encourage your customers to capture Candids using your product for a chance to get featured. You can screenshot the Stories to share them on your social media pages or website.
Candids will showcase how your product works without any filters to glamourize it. This way, they can be very helpful in your social media marketing strategy as UGC coming from Candids will be more trustworthy.
In fact, Candids will also enable you to show the effectiveness of your product without any edits, making your content more raw.
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Promote mental wellbeing as a brand value
The age of filters and edited photos may have been entertaining, but it has been mentally draining for many. Now that unpolished Stories are back in trend, it’s time to reverse the negative impacts that filtered pictures have had on the mental health of social media enthusiasts.
Put in simple words, marketers can use Candids to promote imperfections in physical appearance and social status. This will help erase the mindset that everyone other than your own self is practically perfect.
By presenting a more realistic picture of their lifestyle, marketers can use Instagram Candids for championing mental health causes.
For instance, beauty brands can show what real skin looks like while clothing brands can promote what a real body is — minus Photoshop and filters.
Advertise without advertisements
Is advertising effective? Yes. But do people appreciate ads? Not really.
Thankfully, Candids will help you advertise without coming off as intrusive or sleazy.
Since Candid Stories will be in real-time and users won’t be able to post pre-recorded content, there likely will be no ad postings in these Stories. So, marketers will have to use Candids for promoting their business more subtly, honestly, and authentically.
Candids will help you effortlessly promote your brand by just participating positively. The point is to have no solid content strategy for these types of Stories but still be present. The goal is to ‘show, not tell’ how great your product or service is.
Confusing? It really isn’t as all marketers have to do is use Candids for being ‘real’ with their followers. Don’t make big claims and don’t push your product in the face of your target audience. Just show your company values, your brand’s positive approach, and your product’s usefulness.
Create a sense of community
Here’s the final tip for marketers about how they can use Candids — for community building.
Since Candids will only be viewable by those who post their own Candids, you can offer exclusive discount codes or offers to viewers.
You can also challenge followers to post a particular type of a Candid to encourage interaction and engagement. For this, you can use a different hashtag, engage with those who respond to your Candids, and build a community.
Since Candid Stories are an upcoming feature rather than a separate app, they allow for sharpening your Instagram marketing further. So if you’re already striving toward building a community surrounding your business on Instagram, Candids will give you another way to connect with your audience.
4 secrets to make sure you’re posting the best Candid Stories
Now that you know how to make use of Instagram Candids, here are 4 trusted tips on posting the best Candid Stories:
Keep authenticity top of your mind.
Keep your Candid Stories as real as possible to win your followers‘ trust. Instead of manufacturing or fabricating scenes when your create-a-Candid notification pops up, pull up your camera to show whatever’s going on.
Remember: everything can be made interesting — even the shot of an untidy desk with the text ‘monday mornings’ can resonate with your target audience.
Align with your executives or managers on what type of Candid content you aim to create
Nothing is worse than posting a Candid Story that doesn’t align with your brand personality and values.
To avoid such a disaster, have a team discussion on what sort of content is okay to post, what to avoid and what is confidential.
Then create an easily digestible guide or reference PDF that you or other teammates who post on the brand IG account can refer to when in doubt.
Encourage your teammates to share Candid content on their public accounts too
Did you know people respond better when an employee endorses the brand’s product on their social media? In fact, an employee advocacy program can increase your brand’s Instagram engagement by a minimum of 25% to 40%.
Encouraging employees to share Candid moments at work will also help build brand authenticity.
Again, don’t forget to share your social media posting reference book with your colleagues across teams so they don’t accidentally post confidential content.
Test what ideas get the most traction/engagement
Test your Candids by including text, music and stickers to see if your Candids do better with or without them. Overtime, you’ll get a sense of what your followers’ engage the best with.
This way, you can optimize your content by trying out different things and sharing different types of candid content.
Ready to focus on authentic marketing with Candids?
Though Instagram’s upcoming BeReal duplicate feature is still in the testing stage, brands can already expect it to hold marketing potential.
Candids, unfiltered stories that users will be prompted to post once a day, will give a chance to share organic content. Marketers can use it to find UGC or even for sharing raw BTS shots. Candid Stories will also help brands present their positive and inclusive sides in addition to helping them advertise indirectly.
The best part is that this new Instagram feature may not even require too much work from marketers while still contributing to a winning Instagram strategy.
What is a Candid story?
Instagram is testing out a new feature called Instagram Candid Stories. A Candid Story, unlike regular Stories, will capture an image from the front and back camera simultaneously and it won’t have the option of adding filters. Moreover, users will only be able to share one Candid per day. Only those who share their own Candid will be able to view your Candid Stories.
How to use Instagram Candid stories?
To post an Instagram Candid, you can use the multi-author icon at the top of the feed or use the Story camera of the application. You can also add a Candid Story by clicking on the notification that Instagram will send daily to encourage users to share a real-time, unfiltered image of what they’re doing.
How long are Instagram Stories kept?
Instagram Stories are available for 24 hours after they have been posted. You can always view the Stories you’ve posted to the application by going to Archive in the main menu. However, the views a Story receives are only visible for 25 hours. Shortly after the Story disappears, the owner cannot see who has viewed it.
Alafiya Memon is a freelance content writer and an ardent lover of fries. She creates value-packed, conversational blog posts. When she's not working, you'll find her doodling or reading.