In an update coming to Instagram over the next few weeks, the Facebook subsidiary has made it pretty obvious how badly they wished they were snapchat. The new feature is called “Stories” (how original), and is just about the same thing as a Snapchat story: a series of photos and videos that can be highlighted with drawn shapes and text that combine to tell a single story over the course of 24 hours.
The full announcement via Instagram’s Facebook:
“Today, we’re introducing Instagram Stories, a new feature that lets you share all the moments of your day, not just the ones you want to keep on your profile. As you share multiple photos and videos, they appear together in a slideshow format: your story.
“With Instagram Stories, you don’t have to worry about overposting. Instead, you can share as much as you want throughout the day — with as much creativity as you want. You can bring your story to life in new ways with text and drawing tools. The photos and videos will disappear after 24 hours and won’t appear on your profile grid or in feed.
“You’ll see stories from people you follow in a bar at the top of your feed — from your best friends to your favorite popular accounts. When there’s something new to see, their profile photo will have a colorful ring around it.
“To view someone’s story, just tap on their profile photo. It’s easy to view stories at your own pace: tap to go back and forward or swipe to jump to another person’s story. If you want to comment on something you see, you can tap and send a private message to that person on Instagram Direct. Unlike regular posts, there are no likes or public comments.
“Your story follows the privacy settings of your account. If you set your account to private, your story is visible only to your followers. However, you can also easily hide your entire story from anyone you don’t want to see it, even if they follow you. When watching your own story, swipe up to check out who’s seen each photo and video. You can even choose to feature a particular part of your story by posting it on your profile.
“Instagram has always been a place to share the moments you want to remember. Now you can share your highlights and everything in between, too.”
We know that Facebook tried to acquire Snapchat at one point, and when that didn’t work, they added direct messaging to Instagram shortly thereafter. Many thought that would be the end of the Snapchat-envy-based development, but that was clearly only the beginning.
What do you think? Does Instagram need this? Does it make the app better? Will you use the feature?