How would you evaluate the success of Instagram Stories?
Instagram PM Interview - Product Metric Question and Answer - How would you evaluate the success of Instagram Stories?
Before jumping on to the solution,
Important Read: How to Answer Product Metrics Questions?
Now, let’s get started with the solution -
Interview Tip: Always remember to follow the framework. Jumping right into defining metrics is not the best way to answer this type of questions.
So, following the framework mentioned above,
We will first talk about - What Instagram is, What it does, its Goals?
Then we will go into discussing Stories - What they are? Who uses them? and Why would people use them?
Next, I would define the Goal that we want to achieve.
Followed by, walking through the User Journey for Instagram Stories.
Next, we will discuss, Metrics for each step of the User Journey.
Followed by Evaluation and Prioritization of the Metrics.
Lastly, I will summarise my answer.
Tip: Before jumping into the next part, make sure the interviewer is in sync with your approach.
Describe the Product
Instagram is a photo and video-sharing social media platform available on both native app and desktop web, that helps people quickly edit and share photos/videos publicly or to a pre-approved audience. They can also share images, videos, and other people's posts privately via direct messages. People can also share disappearing stories via the Stories feature, watch & share long-form videos on IGTV, and short-form content via Reels.
For today’s discussion, we will be focusing only on Instagram Stories.
Describe the Feature
Instagram Stories allows you to share multiple videos and photos taken throughout the day, with overlays of doodles and stickers. This slideshow of photos and videos will disappear after 24 hours, allowing you to share moments of your day without having to keep them on your Instagram Profile.
If you want to repopulate your Instagram story reel, just take more videos and photos and continue to broadcast them. You can also add an Instagram Story as a highlight if you want them to remain on your profile for longer than 24 hours.
By using this feature, Instagram users seek to share “Instant” moments with friends and followers and see what other friends or interesting people are doing. This is very much aligned with Facebook’s mission of giving folks tools to build community and bring the world closer together.
I would say this feature is trying to achieve 3 goals -
Engagement (make users use the feature more)
Retention (have users keep coming back to the platform)
Monetization (through sponsored ads)
I would measure the success of Instagram Stories to improve Engagement on the platform as more engagement would help us increase retention and monetization for Instagram.
Tip: Check with the interviewer if he/she is okay with this goal.
User Journey for Instagram Stories:
There are 3 segments of users for this feature -
Posters: Users who post stories
Viewers: Users who view stories and interact with them
Advertisers: Businesses making sponsored posts.
Of which, we will focus only on Posters and Viewers. I think both of these users are important for the feature to make sense as people can only consume and interact with stories if there are people creating them.
Users will become aware of this feature when they log in to the app and look at the top/first component. When they click on any one of the stories, it will trigger the use of the feature where they can view the story, exit the current story, continue to the next story by swipe gestures as well as interact with it by commenting / sharing / answer poll / swipe up to view more.
Users can also add new stories by clicking on add story, adding or capture images/videos, customize and post them and check # of views.
Metrics for each step of the User Journey:
Awareness and Activation:
These metrics will evaluate if a user is aware of this feature and know how to use it.
% of users who viewed a story within a day of signup.
% of users who created a story within a day of signup.
Has the user ever felt the need to use the feature?
% increase in the number of story views per day.
% increase in the number of stories created per day.
Do stories help in Engagement?
Average # of stories viewed per day per user.
% of IG users who viewed 1+ stories per day.
% of IG users who interacted 1+ stories per day.
% of IG users who created 1+ stories per day.
Average # of stories interacted per day.
Distribution of type of stories posted (photo / video / quote).
% of stories with filters
Distribution of filters & stickers used.
% of users who posted for the second time.
Are Stories generating money for Instagram?
# of users who viewed a sponsored post. (Daily / Weekly)
# of users who interacted with a sponsored post. (Daily / Weekly)
CTR / Conversion rate on links/Swipe up/View more. (Sponsered posts)
Evaluate & Prioritize your Metrics:
The goal is to use these metrics to increase engagement on Instagram.
The metrics I would implement and monitor are in the following priority:
% of IG users who viewed 1+ stories per day + % increase of this # (Will help me measure engagement for viewers).
% of IG users who created 1+ stories per day + % increase of this # (Will help me measure engagement for posters).
Distribution of filters & stickers used (this will help me understand how are people using this feature and how to further improve it).
% of users who posted for the second time. (This will help me measure retention).
So, to measure the success of Instagram stories in increasing engagement, I will first split all metrics to see which are relevant to this phase of the user journey.
Based on the ease of implementation, I will implement the metrics and monitor them on a daily basis. An increase in these metrics will indicate a positive success, whereas a dip in the metrics would indicate more analysis needs to be done to improve stories so that they engage users more.
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