Many news organisations have been experimenting with social media over the past few years, using platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat to engage with audiences in new ways.

They are used to creating what Sumaiya Omar, founder of Hashtag Our Stories, describes as 'thumb-stopping content' – that which grabs a viewer's attention as they scroll through their newsfeed.

But the 'Stories' function that we saw initially on Snapchat – the short videos and photos that users share for 24 hours – which has since been developed on platforms such as Skype, Instagram, Facebook and WhatsApp, may well begin to overtake posts as the most common way people share across all social apps, according to Mark Zuckerberg.

"This is about the death of the newsfeed," explained Sumaiya Omar at MojoFest in Galway yesterday (30 May).

"Stories are no longer just the side-bar on social media, Stories is social media."

The rise of Stories, where people share a series of annotated vertical videos and images that users can tap through, watch and skip as they please, means that reporters can connect with their audiences as they go about their day.

It is a useful tool to build an individual brand outside of the news organisation you work for, giving audiences a 'behind-the-scenes' look into the production of news and life as a reporter.

"Stories is everything – it is a blank canvas and you can do anything on it," Omar said.

"It is also made for mobile-optimised view, for mobile audiences, who are in control of the narrative – they control how much they see."

She advises journalists looking to leverage this creative, engaging shift in visual storytelling to go out and practise to produce original journalism in this arty format.

And for those not quite convinced to start filming for themselves, why not upload curated content onto the Stories feature?

"I'm not advocating one platform over another here – it's not the case of Snapchat vs Instagram, it is about using the tools for what they are good at," she said.

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