Instagram has made a bold and unexpected move this week with the launch of Instagram Stories, a new feature that is not too unlike popular yet much smaller competitor Snapchat. Get to know the new feature as a new opportunity to market your business.
What Is Instagram Stories?
You may have noticed the new feature appear on your device over the past few days. There should be a feed of accounts scrolling horizontally at the top of your feed. These are the people you follow who are currently sharing their Instagram Stories.
Instagram Stories is a new feature that allows you to share images or videos temporarily via Instagram. This is not content you want to keep on your feed but visuals you’d like to share that will automatically be scheduled to disappear after 24 hours. Multiple photos and videos may be shared within a single story and they appear in the format of a slideshow. Just like on Snapchat, Instagram Stories cannot be commented on, however, direct messages can be sent in response to specific content (in this case via Instagram Direct).
Unsurprisingly, Instagram’s new feature has been met with a healthy dose of controversy due to how close in similarity it is to Snapchat. To add, Instagram’s parent company, Facebook, has been under fire numerous times for incorporating smaller apps’ technology into their platform, often completely wiping out these firms in the process. Instagram admits to using a similar technology to Snapchat but they continue on to explain that most social platforms incorporate technology invented by another platform which others take up themselves and modify to grow and improve and expand the possibilities for all. They also point to this new service being a response to users who are concerned about sharing too much content.
How Are Instagram Stories and Snapchat Alike? How Do They Differ?
In addition to the aforementioned similarities, Instagram Stories and Snapchat both come complete with a set of tools for writing or drawing over images, they are clearly targeting Millennials (watch Instagram’s first ad for Stories) and Stories may be shared with everyone for public accounts, followers only for Private accounts or for custom audiences via Instagram Stories’ settings. On either platform, you are also able to see who has viewed your story.
Snapchat still has some features that Instagram Stories does not. Snapchat has a very popular lens feature which Instagram does not (at least not yet), no one knows when you take a screenshot, stories can be sent directly to other users and the messaging system trumps Instagram’s equivalent. Instagram Stories differs from Snapchat as it offers a different set of filters and drawing tools and it’s said to be much more user-friendly. You may also choose to share a portion of a story you’ve created to your profile.
Do you use Snapchat for your business? We’d love to hear your thoughts on creating social media marketing campaigns on either platform!