Don’t Be Afraid to Experiment

Jul 22, 2020 | Technology

Just a Little “Snackable” Story

Just call me “Alice.” I have been falling down technology rabbit holes for years. Curiouser and curiouser – the curiosity and willingness to try new things never fades. 

Granted, I’m not eager to try things that feel like a step backwards or have little logic or point to them; patience is not one of my biggest strengths. 

I won’t pretend to have been an “early adopter” on things like Instagram or Facebook Stories – what’s now referred to as “snackable” content seemed pointless to me – spend time creating and sharing something, only to have it self-destruct and vanish in 24 hours? No thanks! 

And doesn’t it always seem that there’s something just a little glitchy about Instagram and Facebook stories? It’s undeniable – people seem to like them! But every time I see one that really interests me, one of the following things happens:

  • It’s truncated;
  • It’s hard to read;
  • There’s no link (or the link doesn’t work) to see more, related information.

If a story is just an image, why not post the image? If it’s a video, post the whole video! If there’s a link to more, make it easy to click and get “the rest of the story,” as Paul Harvey used to say.

When I first saw Google Stories for WordPress, I kind of rolled my eyes. But then Chris Hedges wrote about it:

View at

And I thought, “Okay, that kind of makes sense,” and figured I could try it out on some poetry. I also thought maybe – maybe – if the links worked out well, I could use it as a teaser or intro to longer works. 

I have feedback – and it’s not even 24 hours since I downloaded the plug-in! A couple of things I’d like to see:

  • More shapes, and more styling for the shapes (outlines, shadows) would be good; 
  • Rounded corners for the background on text layers.

So consider this (at left) me dipping my toe into the water. I hope you enjoy it, but I also plan to give it a go with newer, more thought-out things in the future. 

Notice how the story has its own share button? What do you think? Let me know, in the comments!

Holly Jahangiri is the author of Trockle, illustrated by Jordan Vinyard; A Puppy, Not a Guppy, illustrated by Ryan Shaw; and the newest release: A New Leaf for Lyle, illustrated by Carrie Salazar. She draws inspiration from her family, from her own childhood adventures (some of which only happened in her overactive imagination), and from readers both young and young-at-heart. She lives in Houston, Texas, with her husband, J.J., whose love and encouragement make writing books twice the fun.


  1. Ming Qian

    Hey Holly, Chris wrote about it??? It shows how much I’ve been missing out on Medium these days. I didn’t even know that Google Stories was a thing now. Brb gonna go check it out…

    Alright, I’m back after reading Chris’s story.

    Hmm I don’t quite see the merits of it yet. Why would I want to produce videos that would expire after twenty-four hours on my blog? I love it on Instagram, but I’m not so sure about it here. It would be nice to have an instastories widget in the sidebar that I can control with minimal effort from my Instagram.

    People love story videos because they are vertical and they fit perfectly on the screens of our mobile devices. Unless the stories integrate just as well, it feels more of an annoyance than anything else. I don’t think I will use it yet, but I’ll keep a lookout and see how it develops from here.

    Thanks for sharing!
    Ming Qian recently posted…5 Lessons Learned from a Month of BloggingMy Profile

    • Holly Jahangiri

      I’m not sure they DO expire, here! That’s kind of the point – they may be more interesting on the blog than on Insta or FB.

      • Ng Ming Qian

        Ooh, I didn’t realize that. That’s interesting to note, thanks!

  2. Mitchell Allen

    After seeing Chris’ “My Mantra is ‘Love'”, I thought immediately of Creative Copy Challenge, Marian Allen’s Flash Fiction and other snackable ideas. I’m definitely going to experiment. Thanks for telling me about it!


    Mitchell Allen recently posted…My Friends Are BananasMy Profile

  3. Amy

    I usually read the posts from WordPress reader… so I may be missing something as
    I wasn’t able to see the video from there… but did when I opened the post on a webpage.

    I guess I wouldn’t have even known it was there if the article didn’t mention it.

    Other thing that comes to mind is how big are the files it has to store?

    Interesting though and something I will investigate further.

    Thanks for giving it a go and dipping your toe in.

    • Holly Jahangiri

      Good questions! You’d think if it uses AMP and comes from Google… The files were already stopped in the media library.

    • Holly Jahangiri

      It does show up on mobile, so it’s just WordPress Reader that doesn’t render it. I hardly ever use Reader, even on my phone. But thanks for pointing that out, Amy!

  4. Mubashar Khalil

    Check your email to confirm your subscription.

    People enjoy videos of stories because they’re vertical and they sit well on our mobile devices’ screens. It seems more like an irritation than anything else, unless the tales incorporate just as well. I don’t think I’m going to use it yet, but I’m going to keep a watch to see how it’s going to grow from here.

    Many thanks for sharing!

    Mubashar Khalil recently posted…TIPS TO GROW YOUR CLEANING BUSINESSMy Profile

    • Holly Jahangiri

      Yes – it’s funny, though. People are mostly still annoyed by vertical video (even people viewing on mobile, really). It’s an offshoot of “I’m too lazy to turn my camera around to film things” (we’re all guilty of it, too, from time to time – fortunately, I have friends who call me out and make me refilm things, if possible!) But in STORIES like these, the vertical format is actually the only thing that works. Same for TikTok, Instagram, etc. Facebook seems to work either way. I’m usually on my PC when I’m viewing video or commenting on people’s blogs, so it seems weird to see a vertical video.

      Notice I haven’t used this feature since this post? It’s pretty forgettable in some ways. I may play with it some more, though. Thanks for commenting – and reminding me of its existence!

  5. Mubashar

    Check your email to confirm your subscription.

    If the story is just an image, why not post the picture? If this is a video, post the entire video! If there is a link to more, make it easy to click and get “the rest of the story” thanks for sharing this good post

    • Holly Jahangiri

      Notice I haven’t really used this feature all that much? In with you, but supposedly there are some SEO advantages and I do love to try out new things that look like they might have future potential.

      I think that as a little teaser, maybe combining images, pull-quote, poetry, and a link to more, it’s not awful.


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