Instagram Debuts Instagram Stories—Which Is Exactly Like Snapchat

The two social networks have a history of stealing from each other

On Tuesday, Instagram announced that it will soon be debuting a new updgrade—Instagram Stories—that borrows heavily from the Snapchat playbook.

The network, which is owned by Facebook, posted an announcement and video on the release, billing Instagram Stories as a way of sharing “all the moments of your day, not just the ones you want to keep on your profile.”

Like Snapchat Stories, the new tool lets you build a collection of photos and videos that (when clicked on) play like a slide show, one after the other. Users can add text and draw and post emojis and other illustrations on any of their photos and videos—a social media feature that was made standard by Snapchat.

And, get this: The photos and videos will disappear after 24 hours and won’t appear on your profile grid or in your feed. Which is exactly what happens on Snapchat, pioneer of the vanishing social media post.


Also very interesting is that unlike regular Instagram posts, there will be no likes or public comments on Instagram Stories. This undoubtedly supports brands on the network, who—like all modern companies—are feeling the fatigue of managing consumer comments on Yelp and other service-oriented sites. 

As a brand, you can build and post Instagram Stories without of worry of netting any outside flak. At least not on the platform itself.

Here are the nuts and bolts of using the new tool, as described by Instagram: “You’ll see Stories from people you follow in a bar at the top of your feed—from your best friends to your favorite popular accounts. When there’s something new to see, their profile photo will have a colorful ring around it.”

If your account is private (and no brand’s Instagram should be private), only your followers will be able to see your Stories. If you have a public profile, your Stories will be viewable by everyone—though Instagram says there will be feature that lets you hide Stories from specific users, which you can do on Snapchat as well.   

The copycatting by Instagram may seem shameless, but the two networks have a brief, inglorious history of stealing good ideas from each other: Snapchat added the Memories tool last month, which lets users save their Snaps in a feed that looks a lot like an Instagram feed.

Instagram’s new addition may be in line with social media’s future, but not everyone is crazy about the mind-meld going on between the two networks.

Liz Dennery, founder and CEO of Los Angeles–based brand consultancy SheBrand, said she will miss the “cleaner, more elegant—and even artistic—experience” of legacy Instagram. “With Stories it feels like they’re trying to be everything to everybody, and it’s going to feel very cluttered…. Perhaps the millennials prefer a chaotic social experience!”

Instagram Stories will be “rolling out globally over the next few weeks on iOS and Android,” according to the company. Update your app accordingly. 

(Photos courtesy of Instagram)


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