10 Web Stories, and what’s great about them

Web Stories are a new content format on the web, so we’re all learning together what works and what doesn’t when it comes to creating them. To help web creators develop a sense of what makes a story great, we’re kicking off a series to share tips and ideas from high-quality Web Stories we’ve discovered in the wild. Watch the above episode of our YouTube series “Storytime” for this first batch of stories, read it as Web Story on your phone, or scroll on if you prefer reading.

The tablet-friendly high adrenaline story

Not only does this story turn it to 11 from the very start through smart use of video and a super streamlined font, it’s also a great example of a responsive story—that is, a story that works just as well on tablets and desktop as on mobile.

The video-first completely bonkers jet set story

Many of the best videos are those whose content simply wouldn’t convey anything in written form. Similarly, there are topics that work much better as a Web Story. This story is completely bonkers to look at, and it’s a great example where the media carries the story, not the text.

Why not just do a video? Well, for one, the same content as a video would be awkward to consume when you’re on your phone but not in a position to turn up the volume, and you can click through at your own pace when you’re in a hurry.

The ultra-relatable first-person cooking story

A typical recipe blog post doesn’t convey the aspect of cooking well, and most videos are too stressful as you can’t easily skip or pause at the right moments!

This story solves both problems with an ultra-relatable, first-person narrative from a chef that calmly walks us through the process of making Japanese Curry at the pace that works for you.

The ultra-efficient, skip-ahead edutainment story

The educational skip-video technique works not just for recipes! It’s also great for edutainment stories that a user would want to consume at their own pace.

The shoppable book recommendation story

Stories can be a great format to present shoppable listicles like this summer reading list featuring 10 Black-authored books. Unlike the many slow, ad-plastered full-page slide shows on the web, this story is extremely accessible and pleasant to consume.

The inspiring food truck owner portrait with immersive background audio

This story does a lot of things right. First, it uses background music to great effect, making it very “lifestyle-y.” Then it simultaneously zooms in on the food and the subjects, told in a first-person narrative. Web Stories are great for portraits like this.

The curiosity-inspired “You’ll never guess what this is” story

Stories aren’t just useful for lifestyle topics. Here’s a science story presented in a very engaging way. The cover page gets one hooked immediately by asking the audience to participate, which makes the reveal and subsequent explanation even more satisfying. Beautiful.

The “I-tricked-a-teenager-into-learning-art-history-by-packaging-it-in-a-story-that-slaps” story

This story about Salvador Dali uses psychedelic visuals, modern text highlighting, formatting and animations to teach art history in a surprisingly accessible way. 

The nature-always-looks-better-with-Ken-Burns story

Not all stories need flashy animations, illustrations or even video. Sometimes it’s enough to pick a classic typography style and let the content breathe and speak for itself. This story by Lonely Planet demonstrates this beautifully, using only subtle Ken Burns-style animations on images to immerse the reader.

The whimsically illustrated animated how-to story

Right from the cover, this story understands you. It’s instantly relatable not just because of the whimsical illustration, but because this story is about the reader. It starts with a reader question, then continues with bite-sized, easy to grasp quotes from an authoritative subject expert, and finally ends with a strong call-to-action on where to find more. 10/10, would read again.

That's it for today! Subscribe to the blog for more great Web Stories, and if you see a great story we should feature, let us know on Twitter.