Instagram is audaciously borrowing one of Snapchat’s most popular features, “Stories” — a feature that lets users post photo and video slide shows that disappear after 24 hours.
The move is an acknowledgment that many people, especially teenagers, reserve Instagram for their best photos, while using rival Snapchat, an app where photos disappear, to post everyday moments. Instagram’s new feature is meant to alleviate the pressure to perform.
The photo sharing app, which is owned by Facebook, said the new feature would roll out globally for iOS and Android over the next few weeks.
“We need to have a place where you feel free to post whatever you want without the nagging fear of, did someone like that or not?” said Kevin Systrom, chief executive and co-founder of Instagram, in an interview with The Wall Street Journal.
Instagram Stories appear in a row at the top of a user’s feed. Tapping a circle reveals an array of photos that other users posted over the last 24 hours, from oldest to newest. Instagram also allows users to block some users from seeing images posted as a story, a feature not available in the main feed.
For now, Instagram won’t show ads within this feature. Instagram shows ads in its main feed.
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Snapchat’s Live Stories feature was introduced back in 2014 and so users could post photos and videos that would last 24 hours, and Mr Systrom told TechCrunch “they deserve all the credit.”
Unlike the main Instagram feed, there is no way to “like” or “comment” on photos in stories; a user only sees who viewed these images, an attribute borrowed from Snapchat.
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“Not having feedback is important for Instagram because it is a contrast to the highly pressurized space of a feed where it’s all about did this get enough likes, is this good enough?” Mr Systrom said.
Instagram said in a blog post your story follows the privacy settings of your account, so if you set your account to private, your story is visible only to your followers.
The photo sharing app has 500 million monthly active users and 300 million daily active users while Snapchat has approximately 150 million daily actives.