Just when we thought Instagram had slowed down with its updates, the app has struck again with a new feature referred to as “Stories” – a feature that will undoubtedly look familiar to Snapchat users.
With this brand new update, Instagram users can now post a 10-second stream of photos and videos that will appear at the top of their main feed, sorted by who they interact with most. Akin to the classic Snapchat story, these posts are transient—they disappear after 24 hours—can be tracked by views, and can be embellished with drawings, text, emojis, and colored filters.
But unlike the Snapchat feature, Instagram “Stories” are not pushed into a single feed, where users have no choice but to view all posts in a constant stream. Instead, the slideshows can be watched voluntarily at one’s own pace. In addition, as long as the account is public, users do not have to be following someone in order to view their story, an aspect that cleverly breaks down the more exclusive boundaries distinctive to Snapchat.
“Stories” is bound to have an immediate impact on influencer marketing globally. Instagram already has a powerful community factor, where users avidly follow and rely on influencers for their daily food, style, beauty, and travel inspirations. Now, followers will have the opportunity to get to know their idols on a more laid-back, spontaneous, and intimate level—without having to switch platforms, that is. At the same time, influencers and users alike will be able to maintain that neat, “picture-perfect” aesthetic they have worked hard to create.
It seems that Snapchat will soon have to step up its game. How will the app continue to attract and surprise its users?
We can conclude that overall, Instagram and its creators have impressed us yet again: they have taken a feature so praised amongst millennials on Snapchat and adjusted it to appeal to Instagram’s wider demographic and community-centric quality.