Snapchat took all of Instagram’s likes, and now Instagram is sulking. So what’s the solution? Well, in the time-honored app-war fashion, Instagram just rolled out an update that completely ripped off one of Snapchat’s main features, without even bothering to change the name.
‘Stories’ is a new feature that adds a secondary feed of photos and videos to Instagram, which vanish 24 hours after they’re posted. Sound at all familiar? That’s because it’s more or less the same as Snapchat’s stories, which launched a few years ago and mark the main way popular accounts reach followers.
You access Stories through a series of circular avatars at the top of the regular feed. Tap on someone’s avatar, and you’ll see a feed of everything they’ve posted in the last 24 hours. Unlike Snapchat, you can view multiple times, or rewind the feed — you’re not tied to one 10-second hit of cat pictures.
Like Snapchat, you can reply to pictures with text messages, although in this instance they just appear as an Instagram Direct message.
The update will be rolling out to iOS and Android users later today, and you’ll be able to try all this for yourself.
Is a new way of viewing the same photos going to help Instagram match Snapchat’s runaway success? My gut says no, but then again, if you’d told me three years ago that a sexting app was going to use bad selfies to take over the world’s teens, I probably wouldn’t have taken that seriously either.