As if there wasn’t enough of the same feature on each social network, Instagram is the latest to get into the crossover world with Stories, literally an exact copy of the popular Snapchat feature.
Back in 2013, when Snapchat was still in its infancy and desperately trying to get away from the title of the “sexting app” Zuck tried to purchase Snapchat for $3 billion, only to be shut down by Snapchat’s founder, Evan Spigel. Snapchat is now reportedly worth $20 billion, so it’s not like he really missed out on much.
Enter the year 2016. And while currently the Stories feature is better on Snapchat (see filters, geotagging, for example) with the power of Facebook behind it, it won’t be long until Instagram meets if not overtakes Snapchat.
From a marketing standpoint, this is amazing because consolidated features in one app make it easier to grow a community on one or two platforms and get a really loyal following (especially now that Instagram appeals to a much wider demographic than Snapchat, whose primary demo are users 25 and under) than doing a half-assed job on four or five platforms, which is what seems to be what lot of small-to-medium sized businesses are doing on their social channels.
So what is Instagram Stories?
If you’re already a Snapchat user, Instagram Stories definitely won’t pose any sort of learning curve, but here are the basics of the new feature:
- take a live video and add it to your story
- add anything from your camera roll that was taken in the last 24 hours
- draw on images/add stickers before you post to your story
- watch stories from other users
- all content disappears from your Instagram Story 24 hours after it was posted
Where do I find Stories from the people I’m following?
User stories for those you’re already following will show up in your regular feed, right at the top. It’ll show the profile picture of the user that posted the story with a rainbow ring around it. Just tap on the user to watch their story!
Do you have to be following someone to watch their Story?
Nope! But they do have to have an open profile. Just search their Instagram profile, and if they’ve posted to their story in the last 24 hours, However, if you’re trying to get your creep on, I would advise against using this feature and sticking to the regular Instagram timeline. Like Snapchat, you can see every single user that watches your story. So if you’re trying to keep it low-key, stick to watching the stories of the people you’re already following.
This feature is so similar to Snapchat Stories, and since that’s one of their main features, and one of the features that made them stand out amongst their competition, it’ll be interesting to see how these 2 tech giants battle it out in the coming months.
Honestly, the only reason I was really on Snapchat for the Stories feature, so now that the same feature is on Instagram, I’m not sure how much longer I’ll stick around. ‘Bout to clear up some more space on my phone until I get a new one next month.