Instagram just stepped up their game and is ready to go head to head against Snapchat with their release of Instagram Stories. Almost exactly like Snapchat, Instagram Stories are a way to share multiple photos and videos in a slideshow format. As talk started yesterday after Instagram published their blog post announcement, people quickly began to compare similarities between Stories and Snapchat.
Let’s begin comparing and contrasting with the name of Instagram’s newest feature: Stories. This is the same name that Snapchat calls their photo and video collections. Users can add text, emojis, and scribbles using a drawing tool to photos and videos on Instagram Stories, just like Snapchat. Each photo and video added to a story is live for 24 hours before being erased from a profile and followers feeds, also like Snapchat.
How Do Instagram Stories Work?
Instagram Stories are incredibly easy to access since they appear at the top of an Instagram feed. Each time someone updates their “story” a colorful ring will appear around their profile photo. Tap the highlighted profile pic and start watching stories from the people you follow. This is also another way to direct message people in Instagram. Tapping on a photo or video, send private messages to that person on Instagram Direct, similar to messages in Snapchat.
Avoid the wrong person seeing a video or photo by choosing to only feature a particular part of your story on your profile, also similar to Snapchat. The same privacy settings will stand for Instagram Stories as they do for Instagram profile, but the stories can be individually designated as public stories or only displayed to specific followers.
What’s the Benefit of Instagram Stories?
A big benefit for users to switch from Snapchat to Instagram Stories is the convenience of everything being inside of one app, instead of switching from Snapchat to Instagram back and forth.
Another pro is being able to easily follow anyone you’d like. There are several “Instagram Celebrities” that we all drool over from time to time and would most likely indulge in viewing a story or two from them. Snapchat makes this process of finding new people to follow a little tedious and time consuming. Unless you know the exact Snapchat name of a person you want to follow, it’s almost impossible to find them.
Is There Even a Difference Between Snapchat and Instagram Stories?
One difference that stands out among the two story options is Snapchat’s semi-new edition of “Discover”. This is a collection of stories contributed by big brands like DailyMail, Cosmopolitan, BuzzFeed, ESPN, and more. They center around trending topics and act almost as a news source with articles to read, photos to view, and videos to watch.
The LIVE feature of Snapchat is also quite impressive, featuring collections of stories from people around the world each relating to a daily theme. Yesterday was NorCal vs. SoCal and showcased people from all realms of California in one story collection.
The biggest difference between the two social networks is that one is supported by Facebook and it’s team of geniuses, while the other is not. Facebook attempted to purchase Snapchat for $3 Billion cash back in 2013, but failed to do so. Snapchat held it’s head high and somewhat kindly refused. The company was barely making a $2 Billion evaluation, yet Facebook gave them a more than generous offer only to be denied.
Evan Spiegel, Snapchat’s CEO, explained his rejection to the offer in a cover story for Forbes:
“There are very few people in the world who get to build a business like this,” Spiegel told Forbes. “I think trading that for some short-term gain isn’t very interesting.”
Of the 100 million daily active users, 60% of people are posting content to their “stories” daily. Each second 9,000 images are shared on Snapchat. That’s quite a lot of frequent activity that could potentially move from one social network to the other, which could have been avoided had Spiegel taken the deal.
As with anything new, especially social network changes, it will take some time to analyze if Instagram Stories are successful. Users will need to leave their well developed Snapchat environment to start experimenting with Instagram Stories. Luckily, Instagram designed their Stories to work incredibly similar to Snapchat’s so the transition shouldn’t be too difficult for users.
Instagram Stories will be released globally over the next few weeks to iOS and Android devices.
What are your thoughts on Instagram’s newest move? Comment below!