(Think of this post as a challenge to all of us to solve a unique problem Instagram has on it's plate.)
Couple of days back Instagram has launched a new feature: Stories. It changes a lot of things in Instagram-
- Until now there was 1 feed, now there are two.
- Until now you'd choose to ignore or consume media based on how interesting the content looked and not based on who shared the post.
As a product manager you would face a very important question because of this change:
Should you or should you not distribute stories via the existing single feed?
There are three possible outcomes based on the decision you take:
a. Users start spending more time on Instagram.
b. Users don't consume stories as much as you would like- as you scroll down your feed, the stories' feed disappears.
c. Users spend more time on stories but the avg. time spent on the old feed goes down.
If (a) happens, of course you win.
If (b) happens your new feature is a flop.
If (c) happens then you'd have to re-engineer the product ground up, thus pissing off many users for a certain length of time.
Should you choose to create a single feed, then the form factor of your existing publishing tools require to be changed and images & videos, like the stories, will use the full screen- in other words you have to re-engineer the feed as well as the publishing tools, thus pissing off many users for a certain length of time.
In your opinion/experience, what is the best course of action?
Share your development roadmap, assumptions etc.