Rolling out from today (in Australia, at least), Instagram is introducing a new feature that Snapchat users may find familiar. It's the ability to share photos and video -- and edit them with filters, drawings or text -- in a "story" that will be visible to the audience you choose for a period of 24 hours.
Told you it sounds familiar. But that's not such a bad thing.
Here's the basic rundown:
From an "increasing userbase" perspective, it makes total sense for Instagram to be doing this. Creative apps -- like layout and boomerang -- have been launched in response to user demand and the existence of third party apps. Video view time has increased by 150 per cent in the last few months. There are 500 million Instagram users worldwide, with 300 million of those using the platform on a daily basis.
So what do Instagram do? They work out what those users need to stay on the Instagram. Speaking with Gizmodo, Instagram's head of product, Kevin Weill, said that listening to what the community wants is paramount to the success of the network.
So when people say they want a function to tell a story without spamming their feeds, Instagram creates something without a huge barrier to entry. The fact that this feature is so similar to Snapchat is obviously an advantage for Instagram. We will instinctively know how to use it.
Instagram have also produced a bunch of handy videos explaining the new feature and how to use it, in case you haven't used Snapchat -- er, I mean because you'll have never used Stories before.
Here's how to draw:
How to watch stories:
How to send messages:
And how to share your story to your feed:
There are privacy features in place as well, so you can pick and choose who sees your Stories:
Your friend's stories will appear above the regular Instagram feed, in little circles you can press to view. Your profile image circle is also me press-able so you can view your own story from your profile page.
I've been using it today and it's super simple. I'm thinking this will likely be a straight up Snapchat replacement for me, especially considering I can still access information about who viewed my story. I already have an easily viewable community built on Instagram, and I'd honestly rather engage with them than the randoms who have added me on Snapshot. But that's just me.
One notable difference right now between Stories and Snapchat is the fun face filters. You still get all the regular pretty filters to make your freakshake or yoga pose look sublime, but there's none of the fun stuff. No puppy ears, demon faces or flower crowns to be seen -- yet. It's safe to say they'll likely be coming in the future.
What do you guys think? Are you more likely to use this in Instagram than opening Snapchat? Let us know in the comments!