Web Stories Make It Easier To Read
They’re always full screen, portrait, and immersive. Stories allow readers to tap to go forward and backward, and you drag up to open a page attachment. And of course, stories allow you to swipe to go to the next story if there is one and so on.
Web Stories keeps this consistent experience that you’ve come to love but offers some great benefits to you as a creator and reader. So why has the style of producing content become so popular? Current implementations focus on ephemerality and ultra-low barrier to creation.
But our bet is that the story’s format works beyond the ephemerality use case and can become its own pillar in the web, in the media landscape. So now that we understand the common characteristics of a story format, let’s take a closer look at Web Stories.
What Are Web Stories
Web Stories are a web-based version of the popular stories format that blends video, audio, images, animation, and text to create a dynamic consumption experience. So why should you create Web Stories? One, for creative control.
Web Stories are entirely under your direction, just like any other content on your website. Each story can be designed to fit your brand. Two, they’re monetizable. Story authors retain 100% of any monetization with ads or affiliate links and are in full control of hosting, sharing, and linking to those stories.
Three, they don’t expire. The stories live on your website, as long as you want them to. Tappable stories have become a major part of the way consumers engage with content. In fact, 60% of weekly mobile content users now consume tappable stories daily on social media.
We’ve seen studies that show that they’re more engaging than a text article. There’s a unique opportunity for publishers to reach their audiences with a familiar tappable stories format. Web Stories bring that format to the open web and allow publishers to take control of their content without being confined to a single ecosystem.
Stories are also more structured and cheaper to make than video. They can be ranked, they can be crawled and they’re scannable as a text article. A fundamental characteristic of the web is openness, specifically open access, consumption, and creation.
Simply put Web Stories are web pages. And since Web Stories live on the web, they don’t just live in an app but can be accessed anywhere the web can be accessed. Sharing a web story is as simple as sharing any other link on the web.
Not only are stories easy to share and embed but you can also link to your other content. We’ve already seen other publishers linking to stories from their home pages on social channels and in newsletters.
And because of that, we’re seeing Web Stories adopted by a range of publishers around the world as a medium for a broad range of content. From the topical and deep to the fun, personal, and interesting.
We’re also seeing Web Stories adopted by independent creators for their sites via creation platforms, and by brands for user engagement and immersive learning pages for ads. So now that we understand what Web Stories are, let’s talk about where you can see them.
Stories are web pages and can be seen anywhere a webpage can be seen, but at Google, we’re going the extra mile to let them shine. Just recently, we announced a new home for Web Stories on Discover.
Discover is a browsable feed experience for users to stay up-to-date with the topics, trends, publishers, and creators they care about. The Web Stories carousel on Discover showcases some of the best visual content from the web.
You might ask, how’s Discover different from search? With search, users enter a search term to find helpful information related to their query, but Discover takes a different approach. Instead of showing results and responses to a query, Discover surfaces content, primarily based on what may be a good match based on the reader’s interest.
In addition to Discover, we continue to service more Web Stories across Google Search results globally on mobile. So at this point, you’re hopefully either interested in consuming stories or making your own.
Building a web story can be broken up into five simple steps. Step one is to select a story creation tool. Just like for regular web pages, it’s important to have the right tools at hand to create Web Stories, tools that help you speed up the content creation process and allow you to achieve better results, thanks to visual editing and guidance along the way.
For most people, drag, and drop tools like the web story editor for WordPress make stories and user AI make it easy to create Web Stories and minutes to your website. These editors require no coding skills and pages can be dragged together and configure it similar to a design tool.
But you’re not most people, the chance is very high that you’re a web developer. You can use it to your advantage and hand-code stories from scratch, which will give you more flexibility and a chance to play around with features that are not yet available in the what you see is what you get tools I just talked about.
Step two is to draft your storyline. Before sitting down and creating your story, you need to do your homework to find a concept, write a compelling story art, and source creative assets. Now comes the hardest part, sourcing the right content.
How To Start A Web Story
With web stories, you start with the image and then write some copy to clarify your point. Step four, make it your own. Take the time to customize your story and make it feel like your personal brand.
And don’t worry, the more you use these editors, the faster you can create stories. Number five is to optimize it. Learn from engagement stats so your next story reaches an even greater audience. Google Search Console will provide additional details about how your Web Stories are performing in search and discovery.
And lastly, join the Google Web Creators community. The web is an amazing and enormous platform, but creating for it can be difficult and it lacks a support community. Google Web Creators exist to provide tools, guidance, and inspiration for people to make awesome content on the web.
You can check us out on our blog, Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. To summarize Web Stories, keep the great UX you already know. Stories meet the widest audience ever, the web. And since these stories live on the open web, it provides content creators and publishers an immersive format for delivering content and visually rich Tap through an easy-to-share experience.
But there’s more. Great story experiences are coming to the web, and we’re making them so much better. We’re building out our rich open source story player to help you integrate Web Stories into your site experience.
We’ll help you craft the right user experience for your stories, ranging from highlighting contributors to an interactive grid or a story carousel. Once the users start consuming stories on your site, they’ll be able to continue swiping to your other stories and react to them just like any other content on your site.
Getting started with a Web Story player is easy. A few lines of code will get you up and running with a rich swipeable experience. You can also embed a Web Story within an article, customize the immersive consumption experience with your branding, and even personalize what story to show next to your users in real-time.
And of course, we’re making the core story experience itself richer and more interactive with a number of new components. You can integrate interactive quizzes to engage your users and build a sense of community, and even poll them for their opinion on the questions that really matter. Get A Solar Quote
We’re also continuing to help you bring stories to life by integrating rich support for 360 images and videos. You can direct your users to points of interest or allow them to explore the space on their own.
And we’re just getting started. We’re working in innovative ways to take storytelling to new heights. Soon, you’ll be able to embed audio from services like SoundCloud or Spotify, allow users to easily browse all your story content, enable your users to interact more deeply with products, and wow them with even richer animations and immersive transitions.