Snapchat has been the reigning champion of the social media scene for quite some time, but Instagram’s new Stories feature could dethrone them from that coveted spot.
Instagram debuted their Stories feature last week in their latest app update. In a move that clearly draws inspiration from Snapchat’s popular interface, the Stories feature aims to encourage more engagement with Instagram’s current user base.
What are Instagram Stories?
If you’re familiar with Snapchat, it’s pretty easy to understand what the new Stories feature on Instagram is all about: Users can post photos and videos throughout their day that expire after 24 hours and disappear from their feed. Unlike traditional photos posted on Instagram, content in the Stories feed cannot be liked or publicly commented on—it’s simply there to be viewed within a small frame of time so followers can share in-the-moment experiences with the person posting.
Why use Stories?
Part of Instagram’s appeal is curated content—crisp images, themed photo feeds, and a well thought out profile are now an expectation for anyone who wants a large follower base. But Stories allows less thought out content to be shared at the spur of the moment. It gives followers a glimpse of your everyday life, and encourages them to check the app every day so they don’t miss any of your photos or videos. The fact that you can do so all in one place is also part of the appeal—in theory, you don’t have to build a brand new Snapchat following when you can deliver the same sort of content to your preexisting Instagram audience.
Will Instagram Stories overcome Snapchat?
Maybe, but that’s unlikely. Instagram is just doing what social media sites like Facebook and Twitter have already done in the face of competition—adapting. Although some are saying that Instagram offers a cleaner user experience than Snapchat does, the bizarre filters that make Snapchat so popular are decisively lacking. While it’s unlikely that Snapchat will be phased out simply because Instagram Stories now exists, there’s a good chance that avid Instagramers will gradually phase out Snapchat as Instagram Stories gains traction. Even so, Instagram has taken a big step towards increasing their user engagement by introducing a feature they already know is in demand.
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