Journalism and Mass Communications, College of


First Advisor

Sriyani Tidball

Date of this Version



VanDerslice, Hannah (Dec. 2016). "How Female Online Businesses and Brands are Using Instagram Stories", Masters Thesis. Retrieved from DigitalCommons@University of Nebraska – Lincoln.


A THESIS Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Master of Arts, Major: Journalism and Mass Communications, Under the Supervision of Professor Sriyani Tidball, Lincoln, Nebraska: December, 2016

(c) 2016 Hannah VanDerslice


Instagram is one of the newest forms of social media that impacts its audience on a visual level, since the content is centered on photos and videos. Their newest feature, Instagram stories, is temporary videos and/or photos strung together to form a gallery, which has been compared to Snapchat’s version of live stories. Instagram stories offer a unique opportunity for businesses to take advantage of the temporary, 24-hour platform that shows specific frame-by-frame analytics that help create efficient and compelling content to repost permanently that helps organic search engine optimization. As a cost-effective means of advertising, early adopter large and small brands alike have responded and are setting the tone in terms of how Instagram stories are used to attract their audiences. This paper studied 222 Instagram story posts made by 81 different female online business and brand accounts over a one-week time period in order to observe the common themes of posts as well as compare the structure of their posts to the Brand–Consumer Storytelling Theory. The observed results presented that there were 15 common themes; in addition, the general flow of events were presented as an episodic structure, characterized by several indices that can help a story be more relatable to the viewers when it comes to using their own past experiences to relate to the story.

Adviser: Sriyani Tidball