Instagram takes a page from Snapchat's book, announces Stories feature

As the saying goes, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, which could explain Instagram’s new Stories feature. If the name sounds familiar, that is because it is a primary and very popular Snapchat feature.

Instagram’s Stories is somewhat similar to Snapchat’s. You can share multiple photos and videos to a specific story throughout the day, which are displayed in a slideshow format. You can add text, draw on them, and be creative with the content.

“You don’t have to worry about overposting. Instead, you can share as much as you want throughout the day — with as much creativity as you want. The photos and videos will disappear after 24 hours and won’t appear on your profile grid or in feed.” The disappearing act is very much a nod toward Snapchat.

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So, where do we we find them? Stories are located in a bar at the top of your feed. Profile pictures of those you follow will be displayed, and when one of them has a new story for you to view, it will have a colorful circle around it.

The other big component to these new Stories on Instagram is that there will be no public liking or commenting on them. If you want to say something about it to the person who posted it, you can tap on it and send them a private direct message on Instagram instead. This is the difference between what you post to Instagram Stories and into your feed.

As for privacy, at this point, it’s pretty limited. If you set your account to private then only your followers will be able to see your Stories. Otherwise, if your account is public, your Stories will be too. You can hide your Stories from individual people, even if they follow you, but that process was not covered in Instagram’s blog announcement.

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“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,” Instagram writes in its blog post. The move here is clearly a power play by the Facebook-owned company to try and better compete against Snapchat, which has seen tremendous growth and popularity among younger users.

Companies get ideas from each other all the time. But rarely is the copy or clone such a direct one that even the same name is used for the feature, as Instagram has done here.

Instagram’s new Stories feature is rolling out over the next few weeks to iOS and Android users.

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