Instagram has recently rolled some new features to enhance user experience. After rebranding its distinct logo, the photo-sharing platform is now launching the “Stories” feature where users can post their Snapchat videos and photos as well.
Instagram Stories works like Snapchat Stories where it enables users to post 24-hour ephemeral video and photo slideshows. Instagram Stories show up at the top of the feed, your followers will most likely to see them without even building a new audience using a different app.
Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom wouldn’t disagree with you. When confronted about Instagram Stories being a clone of Snapchat Stories, he surprisingly admitted “They deserve all the credit,” but insisted “This isn’t about who invented something. This is about a format, and how you take it to a network and put your own spin on it.” Read my full interview with Kevin Systrom here.
Is Instagram Stories a Rip-off of Snapchat Stories?
While Snapchat pioneered the Stories feature, Instagram is bringing it to more people. Instagram has 500+ million monthly active users, 300 million daily actives, and 250 million users on its direct message function. Instagram is part of the four-headed social media app monster that reached 1 billion users already. However, original user-content sharing was down by 15% since users can only post their most polished selfies and favourite meals.
Here’s a quick rundown on how Instagram Stories works:
The Stories format laces the last 24 hours of 10-second-max photos and videos you’ve shared into a slideshow you can tap to fast-forward through
- Everything you post disappears after 1 day
- You shoot full-screen in the app or upload things from the last 24 hours of your camera roll (recently added to Snapchat with Memories)
- You adorn your photos with drawings, text, emojis and swipeable color filters
- You can save your individual Story slides before or after posting them
- Your followers voluntarily tap in to pull your Story and view it, instead of it being pushed into a single feed
- People can swipe up to reply to your Stories, which are delivered through Instagram Direct private messages
- You can see who’s viewed your Story
Instagram Stories will create a spot for content that’s not “post-worthy” for IG feeds. It allows users to make sub-par user-generated content to be disposable. A dumb face or silly joke shouldn’t be on your Instagram profile long enough for your grandchildren to see them, right?
Systrom explains that “It basically solves a problem for all these people who want to take a ton of photos of an event or something in their lives, but want to manage what their profile looks like and not bomb feed, obviously, as that’s one of the no-nos on Instagram.”
Facebook Ensures Updated Product Development for Instagram
Facebook made attempts at duplicating Snapchat with standalone apps such as Instagram Bolt and Slingshot. The thing is users don’t want download another app just to have a Snapchat clone. So instead of promoting these standalone apps, it decided to directly incorporate the Stories feature to Instagram itself since users are familiar with the function already.
The Pinch-to-Zoom feature was also recently rolled out to iOS users. Instagram wasn’t able to support large enough images to warrant enlarging, but now iOS users can pinch and zoom any image and video on their feed. The Pinch-to-Zoom function will roll out to other platforms soon.