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I confess I don’t use Instagram–at all. And yet, my author friend Kostas Krommydas swears by it. In fact, the other day he was urging me to sign up and use Instagram as part of the upcoming launch of my children’s books in Greece.

So, when Oleh Koropenko of 99firms.com pointed me to their Infographic on Instagram, I was immediately intrigued.

It turns out that the best way to use Instagram is through Instagram Stories, which was launched in 2016 and is now used by 300 million daily users. On average, users under 25 spend around 32 minutes a day on Instagram, while those in older age groups spend more than 24 minutes per day.

Considering these stats, it’s clear that this feature offers an amazing opportunity for businesses to reach a broader range of audience and promote their brand.

One of the reasons I always steered clear of Instagram was that I wanted to respect my privacy (and that of my family). Instagram seemed to me like a voyeur’s heaven, with people sharing all sorts of selfies. Obviously, this is something that makes me cringe.

Instagram Stories, though? I was shocked to learn that 1 in 3 of the most viewed Stories are from businesses. Here is a list compiled by 99firms explaining how other businesses use Stories to give voice and personality to their brand. While some ideas will be out of the reach of an Indie author (video ads, for example), others may be closer to our needs (E! News, for example, which uses Instagram Stories to share their magazine content).

Instagram Stories | From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's books