Successfully create stories on the web
Stories on the web are an immersive, tappable, and easily shareable storytelling format. Stories is an opportunity for creators and publishers to structure content in a full-screen, visually rich, and engaging mobile first experience for users.
Stories are snackable, and readers like quick bites in their micro moments! Waiting for the subway or grabbing coffee opens up opportunities for condensed content consumption! Ensure each bite engages and delights by following these best practices for creating a satisfying snackable story.
At a glance
The main takeaways to creating a satisfying snackable story:
- Tell a full and interesting story. Overly commercial or spammy Stories won't surface to readers.
- Maximize the impact of your cover page with high quality imagery and a catchy title.
- Make it visual with videos and images that fit and fill user’s screens.
- You can say a lot, with less! Especially when using visual imagery. Aim to keep text below 10 words per page.
- When using videos, shorter are are best. Stick to less than 15 seconds.
- Give readers something to tap through! An average length of 10 to 20 pages enables most authors to tell a good narrative.
Know your narrative
Plan the story introduction, create an arc and build up to a complete narrative. Once you know what you want to say, break it up! Each Story page should convey a single idea thats works cohesively with the others.
Tasteful and filling content
Each story must be a minimum of 4 pages and ideally less than 30. Each story needs to be tasty, well told, and easy to consume. If needed for your narrative, go longer than 30. Stories that are too commercial or smell of spam will not be served. This includes stories where more than 30% is sponsored content or ads. A story using auto ads is automatically compliant.
Know what your readers want to see! Insensitive, misleading or inappropriate content is never on the menu.
Pick me! Packaging
Your cover page is your Stories packaging! It's the first thing viewers will see, and, if they don’t open it, the only thing they will see. Make sure it's appealing! A good cover page has two elements, eye catching imagery and a short memorable title.
Use a high-quality portrait image or video that fits the full screen. Let your fans know its your brand by including a favicon and logo.
Keep the title clear and clean, ideally under 10 words in less than 40 characters. Include the author and publication name and add a publish date if the story is time sensitive.
Allure readers in with quality visuals that captivate their attention and text they can read easily and quickly. Mainly use high-quality videos and images, but add some animation sparkle where it makes sense.
All images and videos should take up the entire screen with minimal use of letterboxing where it makes sense.
Videos are highly engaging to readers, definitely include as many as possible in your Story. Aim for videos that are less than 15 seconds. If you have a longer video, consider breaking it up into smaller chunks. Videos exceeding 60 seconds can’t be used at all.
Stories are consumed in portrait mode, so keep in mind the following:
- Shot video in high-end mobile devices when possible.
- Shot at 480p.
- Shot in at least 24 frames per second.
Ensure your content is accessible. Resize videos to make room for text and captions at the bottom. Not all readers will be able, or want, to hear video content.
Use full screen, portrait images with good resolution (828 x 1,792). Avoid landscape cropped photos.
Ensure text is readable. Size 24 font should be the minimum size used, but make it as large and legible as possible. Contrast text color with the story page background or image. Do not include images or videos that are text only.
Animations are appetizing when done with purpose. But they can become unsavory if overused. Avoid adding too much of a single flavor and spice with animations sparingly. Pages should enter their completed state fast. An animation should not stop a user from tapping to the next page.
Text should come in nibbles, not meals. Try to keep it under 200 characters or less per page.
Treat details like an ingredient list, make them available, but only if user’s ask! Include long-form text content in a page attachment. Page attachments communicate to user’s there's more to read! They can swipe up on their device if interested.
A page with text content longer than sentence may be unavoidable. Try not to let these take up more than 10% of the total story pages.
Build and share
Stories can be hand-coded from scratch or built using creation tools. In order for a story to be shared and discovered, they must meet technical requirements.
Not a developer? Use one of many creation tools to build your Story!
After you’ve created your story, make sure it can be shared and discovered! All stories must meet the following requirements:
- Stories must be valid AMP. You can test yours in the AMP validator.
- Metadata attributes ensure your story is defined well. Check that your story has them setup correctly.
- Configure you structured data so that interested readers can find your story!
- Clearly label sponsored content. Any and all paid or affiliated links require the nofollow attribute.
Written by @CrystalOnScript