What is Instagram’s new ‘Stories’ feature?
All you Instagram addicts out there better get your best angles ready as today marks the first official launch of Instagram’s latest ‘Instagram Stories’ feature. This brand new function is set to challenge Snapchat’s crown as the King of capturing all your mundane daily moments by allowing you to share pictures instantly to all of your Instagram followers. The feature is rolling out globally over the next couple of days, so we advise that you start planning your stories now.
Over-posting is a constant worry on Instagram, as is the desperate struggle try to get into the double digit category of likes in order to avoid the shame of having the whole world know that you’ve liked your own picture. With the new Stories feature it seems that both of these fears can be completely eradicated, as photos and videos posted in this mode will disappear after 24 hours and won’t show up on your profile at all. You know, just like Snapchat.
Once posted the pictures will appear together in a slideshow format, allowing you to unleash your creativity through the addition of text and drawing tools. You know, just like Snapchat.
Stories from people you follow will pop up in a bar at the top of your feed — including all your best friends as well as your favourite popular accounts. When there’s something new to see, the profile photo will have a colourful ring around it. You know, just like Sna…oh. That’s new.
All you have to do to see someone’s story is tap on their profile photo. With the feature’s main advantage over Snapchat being the ability to view stories at your very own pace. That's new too.
If you want to comment on something, you can even tap and send a private message to that person on Instagram Direct, so don’t worry if you’re one of those guys who simply loves commenting unnecessarily creepy things like “I want to smell your hair” on someone’s pictures. I mean, you’ll probably get blocked almost immediately after sending the direct message but you’re still be able to do it. Unlike Instagram regular posts, there are no likes or public comments however, so all your genius pick-up lines about nice hair will sadly go unnoticed by the wider population. What this means for the future of Taylor Swift call outs, we don't know.
Your Story follows the privacy settings of your already existing account. So if you set your account to private, your story is visible only to your followers. As it should be. However, if you’re feeling brave you can make it privy to the entire world. Not that we’d recommend it. Not because of any particular safety issues. Your life just isn’t that interesting.
When watching your own story (which we all know you will do, you absolute narcissist), you can simply swipe up to check out who’s seen each photo and video. No, that cute girl from the office hasn’t seen it yet. And no, she doesn’t think your hair smells as nice as hers.
You can even choose to feature a particular part of your story by posting it on your profile. So if that selfie you took earlier really bangs then you can simply recycle it onto your main page. Simple.
There’s no denying that the new Instagram Stories are directly competing with Snapchat’s pre-eminent dominance of the shameless temporary selfie market, but we’re interested to see just whether they can truly trump Snapchat at their own game. Let the Story Wars begin!