Hundreds of thousands of people read novels on Instagram. They may be the future

Last year, the New York Public Library released an experiment to put the full text of books in its Instagram Stories. It was a novel way (pun obviously intended) to get the content into the hands of readers where they are already spending time - convenient, easily digestible and purpose built for the medium. As the director of the NYPL puts it, “We’re happy to meet people where they are.” With over 300,000 people now reading books this way, this is a fascinating case study on product development and adoption, one that should resonate with anyone trying to get users to adopt products. Go to where the people are, don’t expect them to come to you. Don’t expect habits to change over night. Don’t put artificial hurdles in front of your users if you don’t need to. You’re in a game trying to buy people’s time away from other competition. It’s a sellers market and in this case you’re trying to buy time. Make it as easy as possible.


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