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. Image: Getty
Ripping something off is wrong and bad, but Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom spins it like this: "This isn't about who invented something. This is about a format, and how you take it to a network and put your own spin on it." Can't argue with that.
Instagram Stories is a feature that's being rolled out to all users over the next couple of weeks. It basically works the same way as Snapchat stories, except it has significantly better filter options. Snapchat gives you an option of lighter, yellow-er and bluer, but in Instagram's version, the filters actually made me prettier. (I'm pretty, right? Tell me I'm pretty.)
There are even more options, this is just a sampling.
There are also more options with the drawing tools on Instagram, although you have to choose from a selection of preset colours. You can make your drawings look like neon lights, which I like because who doesn't think neon is extremely cool and incredibly fun?
Instagram still doesn't have lenses, which is one of Snapchat's most popular features; however, I imagine Instagram will soon add if it really wants to make Snapchat obsolete. After all, Snapchat launched Stories in 2013 and it took them two years to get lenses. Instagram Stories launched today, and aside from missing that essential feature, it seems to be running very smoothly. Moreover, Instagram Stories are intuitive and easy to use, while Snapchat is more complicated, especially considering how difficult it is to add new friends and find celebrities.
Another major edge Instagram Stories has over Snapchat is that no one can see when you screenshot, meaning you can live your creepiest truth while perusing.
Still, Instagram doesn't have the same messaging capabilities as Snapchat, so it's more difficult to seamlessly transition from viewing someone's story to chatting to sending nudes that will soon disappear unless someone takes a screenshot.
If anything will keep Snapchat alive, it's sexting. Especially because Instagram really, really doesn't like female nipples. You'll likely never be able to free that nipple on Insta, so God bless Snapchat. :)