Instagram has always been the platform for showcasing beautiful images, however, in recent years, Snapchat has made it's presence well known.
Instagram is finally taking on SnapChat with the introduction of Instagram Stories.
While each platform had different aims and targeted different age groups, Snapchat gained traction with millennials who enjoyed its fleeting nature.
My guess? Instagram Stories was born out of a need to win users back
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Included in the most recent update pushed out to Android and iOS users, Stories lives at the top of your Instagram feed and allows you to create and share short videos and images which live in your Stories feed for 24 hours.
If all of this seems like deja vu, then it's most likely because you're thinking of Snapchat.
In an interview with Techcrunch, Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom said : "They deserve all the credit. This isn't about who invented something. This is about a format, and how you take it to a network and put your own spin on it."
What does this mean for you?
Many people have struggled to adapt to Snapchat due to its confusing layout (you try figuring out how to apply dog filters and flower crowns to your selfies without anyone telling you), which has impacted the companies potential reach.
Instagram Stories copies the basic functionality of Snapchat but filters it down to its most basic format, which is a good thing.
Like Snapchat, Instagram allows you to take a picture or short video and upload it to your story which lasts for 24 hours. Instagram Stories also has filters which allow you to change the mood and look of your images or video, but what it lacks are the fun overlays (such as the flower crown or dog face filter) which so many people have come to love on Snapchat.
How do I know who has an Instagram Story?
Stories from people you follow will appear in a row at the top of Feed. If someone has shared a story you haven't seen yet, you'll see a colorful ring around their profile picture. To see someone's story, tap their profile picture at the top of Feed or on their profile.
When you view stories, they automatically scroll from one person to the next. You can tap the screen to skip to the next photo or video, or swipe right or left to skip between people's stories. Swipe down on the screen or tap x in the top right to exit someone's story and return to Feed.
How do I create my own story?
Instagram has made it very easy to create your own story:
Instagram has made Stories easy to use, which means that more people are likely to want to use it, combined with its 300 million daily active users, the Facebook-owned company is in a strong position to take over this popular content type from Snapchat.
- Tap the Stories icon (a broken circle surrounding a + ) in the top left of your screen or swipe left from anywhere in Feed.
- Tap the circle at the bottom of the screen to take a photo, or tap and hold to record a video. To upload a recent photo or video from your phone, swipe down on the screen and select what you'd like to share.
- You can tap Aa or the pencil icon to add text or draw on your story. Tap Undo to remove an effect or Done to save it.
- You can tap Cancel to discard your photo or video, or the download arrow to save it to your phone. When you're done, tap the checkmark to share your story.
If you don't have Instagram Stories then check your app store to see if you have the latest version of the Instagram app.