The fierce competition between Facebook and Snapchat just got real.
The Facebook-owned photos app just introduced a new feature called ‘Instagram Stories’ and yes — it's a lot like Snapchat's feature of the same identity.
Instagram Stories, which is beginning to deploy to users now, allow users to create temporary "slideshows" separate from their main processed, which vanished after 24 hours. Like Snapchat, you can annotate your images with doodles, text and snake emoji and keep tabs on who is viewing your Story.
Stories live in a bar at the top of your home processed or feed. Like the photos and videos that appear in your feed, Stories are algorithmically ranked, though not by the same algorithm that to set the order of your feed. Instead, they are ranked based on relationship — people you are closer to should, in theory, be closer to the front of the line of people.
To plan the Stories themselves, though, is delicately different than Snapchat. Tapping right will advance you to the next image or video in a story while tapping left will take you to the previous one and swiping left will skip to the next Story in your feed.
And with Snapchat, you can check who is looking at your Story. The default settings allow anyone who follows you to be able to see your Story, but you can choose to hide Stories from specific users. Additionally, if you have a public account, anyone who views your profile will be easily able to view your current Story by tapping on your profile image.
One interesting difference between Snapchat and Instagram's version of the features is that Instagram only allows you to share photos you've previously taken if they were shot within the last 24 hours. Snapchat added the ability to share old photos via a new feature called Memories
in a recent update, though users can see if a photo was shot outside of the app.
Small scale differences not with standing, it's difficult to ignore just how common Instagram's Stories are to Snapchat's. Instagram's official line on the similarities between the two apps, by the way, is that Stories are simply "a new format" that they they have chosen to adopt.
"Stories are a new documented that's just beginning to see broad adoption, and we're excited to bring them to Instagram and help evolve them," an Instagram spokesperson said in a statement to socialoutwork.Over the years we’ve been really successful at bringing upcoming new formats to Instagram like video, messaging with Direct, and Boomerang."
Facebook, of course, has tried many times (without success) to copy or imitate Snapchat in some way — both through new functioning apps and through features within its own apps.
Snapchat apart, Instagram appears to be hoping Stories will increase attachment and motivate users to post more often. In a blog post Tuesday, the company notes that though not every moment may be worthy of your main feed, they may still have a place on Instagram.
"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."
Whether will like the feature, though, is different matter. Both the introduction of the algorithmic feed and the app's recent reconstructed, sparked almost instantly protests from users.