Sunday, September 29, 2019

Insta Novel - new way for you to get your read on

Instagram may be your new book reader, thanks to Insta Novels, a new breed of storytelling adapted to an Instagram story format. Hopes to use the new approach to promote reading as well as its brand.

“Insta Novel”  a new way for you to get your read on. bringing some of the world's most incredible stories to Instagram Stories with #InstaNovels.

The New York Public Library is introducing a new way for you to get your read on by posting classic novels to its Instagram account, in the form of Instagram stories. The project, called InstaNovels, is deemed a “reimagining of Instagram Stories to provide a new platform for iconic stories.”

Insta Novels, designed by the agency Mother New York, Insta Novels is the winner of Fast Company‘s 2019 Innovation by Design Awards in the Apps & Games category. Since launching in August 2018, more than 300,000 people have read the NYPL’s Insta Novels, and the NYPL’s Instagram account has gained 130,000 followers. While gaining more followers was definitely part of the project’s aim, the NYPL is more excited—and surprised—that people actually read the books that it published on Instagram.

Insta Novels, use the character of Instagram to pull readers forward, including small animations throughout the books. With stunning, fully color illustrations and moving animations, an Insta Novel is far more visually appealing than anything an e-reader can offer.

Cell phone and tablet technology has also opened up the possibility of immersive, personalized storytelling. The Ambient Literature project publishes stories that pull in details about the reader’s location, the time of day and the current weather for a smartphone-based story. 

With the rising percentage of people using mobile phones as an extension of themselves, it makes sense that books would find a home on them alongside texts, games, music, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and all those other handy apps. We would love to predict that in 2020 savvy authors will really study this small, portable reading format and create a new kind of book perfectly suited to the screen size and shortened reading times.

Are cellphones and tablets, not e-readers, the future of literature?
Hundreds of thousands of people read novels on Instagram. They may be the future

How to Read Insta Novels

Insta Novels Highlights

First, go to the Library's Instagram account (@nypl) and tap the name of the story in the highlights section, right under the bio.
Rest your thumb on lower right part of the screen to hold the page, and lift your thumb to turn the page. (The lower right thumb holder is designed to double as a flip book: if you lift your thumb and let the pages flip, you'll see an animation.)

Explore Insta Novels

Yellow Wallpaper Cover

Charlotte Perkins Gilman's short story "The Yellow Wallpaper," illustrated by Buck (@buck_design)

The Raven Cover

Edgar Allan Poe's "The Raven", illustrated by Studio Aka (@studioaka),


#instaNovels #InstagramStories #instagram

Case Study: NYPL Insta Novels

Company: New York Public Library
Campaign: Insta Novels
Agency: Mother
Start: August 2018

How does a library grow its social media presence—and convert those new followers into active patrons? For the New York Public Library, the answer came via the Insta Novel: full-length classics like Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and The Metamorphosis, shared in illustrated, bite-sized chunks through Instagram’s Stories tool.


The New York Public Library wanted to make great works of literature more widely—and digitally—available. So creative agency Mother pitched the idea of connecting with prospective new readers where they already were: Instagram. The Story, a type of temporary 24-hour post introduced to the platform just two years earlier, presented an original means to capture attention and lend a sense of immediacy to the reading process.


Aware of the challenges in promoting plain text content on an image-first platform, the team tapped illustrators like Magoz and C├ęsar Pelizer to enliven the stories with colorful, animated artwork that’s functional as well as eye-catching: a thumb rest at the bottom right corner of each digital page allows the reader to hold the screen open for as long as needed, evading Story’s standard 15-second duration.

With an eye towards the long-term reading experience, @nypl also archives all Stories in their dedicated Highlight section. Currently, visitors to the page can read A Christmas Carol, The Metamorphosis, The Yellow Wallpaper, and Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by clicking on the appropriately titled bubble.


As of April 2019, @nypl has increased its Instagram followers count by more than 145k—for a total of more than 349k—in the eight months since the Insta Novel’s debut on August 22, 2018, almost five times the number of followers acquired during the year preceding the campaign’s debut.

Forbes in October 2018 reported 40,000 completed reads of debut Insta Novel Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, while Eye on Design in that same month highlighted the program’s success in converting Instagram users to patrons, noting that more than 6,700 viewers had accessed NYPL’s SimplyE reading app via its link in the @nypl Instagram bio and 1,253 of those users had subsequently downloaded the app.

And the campaign hasn’t gone unrecognized by the digital awards circuit: in April 2019, the Insta Novels project won all three Webby Awards for which it was nominated—Best Use of Stories, Education & Discovery (Social), and the People’s Voice for Best Use of Social Media (Advertising, Media & PR).


#instaNovels #InstagramStories #instagram 


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