Instagram Goes Snapchat With Stories

SnapGramI suppose it was inevitable. Instagram largely serves up still pictures one by one – and the world wants more.

The popularity of Snapchat may be baffling but if you’re one of the biggest platforms in the world, as Instagram is, it can’t be ignored.

Instagram Stories

Cute name. Almost like…Snapchat Stories? In fact, the whole concept is exactly the same: take a series of photo or videos and stitch them together with text or stickers overlaid. But hey – if someone’s got a good idea, steal it and do it better.

Snapchat started and ended with stories. New filters or lenses have been added over time but generally the concept has remained the same. Instagram has the experience, money and solid customer base to beat Snapchat at its own game.

Why Instagram is going to win for older people

The biggest difference is that, while Snapchat is for kids (it IS, don’t even try), Instagram is a platform enjoyed by all ages and its approach to UX in this new feature is very inclusive.

Someone used to Instagram but new to Stories is led through the process in a very gentle way, whereas loading up Snapchat for the first time, you don’t even know where anything is.

I have TRIED Snapchat. And I hated it. I couldn’t figure anything out and it was dumb and it all disappears in 24 hours anyway!

Instagram Stories is going to do that too but they have a huge network of people already in love with the glossy, aspirational platform – willing to try its new stuff. Snapchat, on the other hand, has a reputation for being silly.

Why it’ll win for me

I love Instagram. I love the people I follow – they are part of my personality, feeding my tastes and aesthetic daily. The only issue I have with it is that everything is SO perfectly curated. Stories now gives me an unpolished glimpse into the life beyond the still or the carefully edited video.

Snapchat does that too but I don’t have a deep emotional attachment to anyone there. I feel like over-25s are less likely to sign up for a new network where they’ll have to forge new relationships than embrace new features of one they already have a handle on.

Instagram even included the line “Your friends are already there” in their email announcing the launch. They know where their win is.

Why not have a little peek?

No need to jump right in to ‘creating stories’ – just have a look at what your connections are doing. Now, when you open Instagram, you’ll see a row of circles at the top of your screen. The contacts who have new stories will have a coloured ring around them.

So far I’m mainly seeing photo stories: a series of stills with text over them. There have been a few videos of cats, of course. I think the main point is that you can show linked items without 100 other people’s stuff getting in the way like in your regular feed. Hey, I kind of like it. I think brands that already use Instagram will like it. Product launches and events, behind-the-scenes stuff. Nice.

So, have a little nosy. Just maybe do it with earphones? I was surprised by autoplay sound in a silent office. Twice.

If you do want to create a story

Go you. I did one from my test account so no one could see my shame.

1. Click your new plus sign at the top of your screen. You’ll be shocked by a huge chin selfie but never fear – that does not have to be the main focus of your story.

2. Take a picture or video of whatever it is you’re into. Adorn with text or drawings.

3. Press ‘Add to story’.

3. Repeat.

4. When you’re done, hit ‘Done’ to save, then the tick to share.

5. Celebrate your new-found cool status.

6. Show a teenager if you have one to hand.

7. Cringe from their scorn.

Good luck!

If you didn't think you were cool enough for Snapchat, how about #InstagramStories? Click To Tweet