If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then Instagram is flattering the hell out of Snapchat.
Instagram has introduced Instagram Stories, a near clone of Snapchat's story feature, including the limited lifespan of posts -- it even uses the same name. So what was Instagram's reasoning for creating Stories, and will it actually compete with Snapchat's version?
In IT Blogwatch, our story sticks around for more than 24 hours.
What exactly is Instagram Stories? Mike Isaac gives us the background:
For...years, Snapchat has been Facebook’s white whale...Now Instagram, the photo-sharing app owned by Facebook, is taking its own stab at Snapchat.
Instagram Stories, which lets people share photos and videos that have a lifespan of no more than 24 hours with friends who follow them...bears a striking resemblance...to Snapchat Stories...The move could ignite a head-to-head battle between Instagram and Snapchat.
But how exactly does it work? If you are familiar with Snapchat Stories, none of this will be too foreign to you, but here it is anyway. Instagram shares their official line:
As you share multiple photos and videos, they appear together in a slideshow format: your story.
You can bring your story to life...with text and drawing tools. The photos and videos will disappear after 24 hours and won’t appear on your profile grid or in feed.
Instagram has always been a place to share the moments you want to remember. Now you can share your highlights and everything in between, too.
Yep, just as we thought -- sounds familiar. But how do we know if someone has a new story to share, and who sees them? Brian Mastroianni fills in the details:
Users will find stories...from people they follow at the top of their photo feed...When an account has a new story, a colorful ring will surround the profile photo. A user...tap[s] on the profile photo to see the story.
If users want to comment on the story, they'll have to send a private message, since [Stories] doesn't allow "likes" or public comments...your story will only be available to your followers [and] you can...customize your privacy settings to keep your stories hidden from certain users.
So now that we have two nearly identical options to share stories, which one is better? Dan Frommer voices his vote for Instagram:
This was a smart move on Instagram’s part, and it might even work [for] the same reason Instagram is...great: Its network, not just its file format.
Snapchat Stories are...entertaining...but my feed of Instagram Stories is...totally different, based on a network of accounts I’ve followed over five years...I’d love to see Stories from some of the coffee shops, fashion designers, chefs, photographers and airline pilots I follow on Instagram -- none of whom I’m currently Snapchat pals with.
Credit...to Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom for calling out Snapchat as the creator of the “Stories” format -- and for having the guts to copy it anyway.
Good for Instagram, then. Any chance this could backfire, though? Pete Blackburn shares his favorite part of the new Instagram feature:
The best part about Instagram's new stories feature is that everyone has been using it to post their Snapchat usernames.