Instagram recently launched Instagram Stories, a Snapchat-like feature built in to Instagram. The feature is slowly rolling out to all profiles for posting content, but all profiles can currently view Instagram Stories.
What It Is
Instagram Stories will last for 24 hours. Users can add emojis, drawings and text to images either uploaded to the program or captured in the moment. You can automatically see the stories from the people you follow at the top of your Instagram feed or find new ones by searching for other profiles. A tally of views is kept at the bottom of your story. Each story lasts for 10 seconds and multiple stories can be added together.
New and unseen Instagram Stories show at the top of the feed with a rainbow circle around the profile picture of the Instagram poster. After viewing, the story will turn to a gray circle and move to the end of the story scroll. You can watch a story again there or by searching for the user’s profile and clicking on their profile image.
Users can also send messages, save photos, share as a post, and hide stories from specific users. The program is incredibly similar to Snapchat minus these features and a slightly more intuitive experience. Instagram Stories also does not have filters – yet. I’d expect Facebook/Instagram to integrate their app face-filtering app MSQRD into the platform eventually.
The biggest advantage with Instagram Stories is the built-in audience. On Snapchat, it’s difficult to find new people to follow – you’ll likely only connect with the people in your phone book or users that you search out after finding out their usernames. Snapchat has tried using different means to make it easier to follow, but they haven’t been as successful. Since your followers can automatically see your Instagram Story, the platform automatically has a huge advantage over its biggest competitor.
I actually think this has a lot of legs, unlike some of Instagram/Facebook’s past offerings. Following friends has never been easier with this update. Facebook as a whole is continually playing more with live/real-time content, which has always been their weakness. With this update and Facebook Live, Facebook is slowly taking control of posting in the moment away from Twitter and Snapchat.
All images from Instagram.