Tagged With instagram

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In early August, Instagram introduced "Stories," a new feature the company asserted would let users "share all the moments of your day, not just the ones you want to keep on your profile." What the platform neglected to mention, however, was that a near-identical feature exists elsewhere — on Snapchat.

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Instagram released its Stories feature earlier this month — which is basically a rip-off of Snapchat Stories — in order to tap into the ephemeral social media market. In both features, Snapchat and Instagram let your pictures and videos expire after 24 hours, but viewers can still take screenshots. Snapchat lets you know who took a screenshot of your story; Instagram doesn't. Snapchat doesn't allow viewers to download other people's videos, but there are a host of third party apps that give you that option.

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I didn't want to like Instagram stories, not one bit. I think it's not very nice of Instagram — which, if you don't remember, is owned by Facebook — to basically rip off the concept of a smaller competing app for its own benefit. Instagram has 300 million daily active users, while Snapchat has half that. Still, here I am, already four images deep in my first ever Instagram story — I have yet to update my Snapchat story today — and I must admit, dang Instagram, you did goooood on this one.

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Because it's so simple and straightforward, Snapchat has always been a particularly difficult corner of social media for businesses to conquer. If you're trying to get viewers to visit a page, or even if you just want to share an online shopping link with your friends while you're showing off a new jacket or gadget in a Snap, you've had to type a link into the text bar and cross your fingers. But now there's an app that converts links to a couple of emojis for you to share, and that same app — called Emoticode — can read those links from a Snapchat screenshot.

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Instagram announced earlier this week that they'd be changing their logo from a representation of a camera to a slightly more colourful and abstract representation of a camera. And people had feelings! The logo was variously described as "not quite picture perfect" a "travesty" and "so internet" by media outlets — and the hoi polloi were about as generous.

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Last week Instagram began testing a new monochromatic design, and yesterday Mark Gurman from 9to5Mac reported that one of the major changes coming to Apple Music in June will be a black-and-white makeover. It's like the evolution of television in reverse. We've never had more beautiful smartphone displays, why would we dumb down the designs of our staple apps? It turns out that stripping colourful hues out of an app actually makes a ton of sense.

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Every social media platform has bottom feeders. You know the ones: the fake teen pornbots, the meme factories, the personal brand trumpeters — the spammers. They come in many different forms, but they are all categorically bad, and they make the experience of actually using the platform slightly worse every time they pop up. Even if you don't follow them, their mere existence is irritating enough.