August 3, 2016
If you can’t beat them, join them. It’s an extremely popular catchphrase; something that most people say from time to time. And now, big companies like Instagram are adopting it as a mantra for their business operations as well.
In an announcement on Tuesday, the social media giant released its latest tech feature called “stories”, a content feed so similar to Snapchat’s My Story, you might even be tempted to call it pure carbon copying.
So what exactly is Instagram Stories? Well, just like Snapchat, you get to string together photos and videos together in a highlight reel of your day. You can also accessorise your feed by adding texts and emojis to your pictures and videos, and check out other people’s stories to see what they’re up to.
Everything disappears after 24 hours. Of course, if you want to keep your stories, you can download them to your phone by navigating to the bottom right hand corner of the selected photo or video. Just click save, and your story is kept for life.
If not, you can just post these stories to your regular profile grid, although the element of privacy is lost, as everyone can see them normally. Don’t want a particular person to view your story? Easy. Just head over to the three dots next to a person’s profile and click on ‘Hide Story From’. Bam! He or she won’t be able to see a thing.
Stickers-wise, Instagram still loses out to Snapchat. There aren’t any cutesy dog filters to play with, and hardcore Snapchatters may choose to remain Snap-chatting the way they’re used to. Also, it’s debatable as to whether implementing such a feature into their format is a smart move for Instagram.
That being said, Instagram’s move will definitely cause ripples in the social media landscape. Older adult users who are already used to Instagram may start using these new features more, and for the sake of convenience, regular Snapchatters might be tempted to shift platform.
Whatever the case is, both social media channels are both uniquely great in their own ways, and it’ll be a darn shame if this turns out to be a war that ruins them, instead of improving them.