Instagram: The New(ish) Stories Feature

Recently, Instagram introduced a new “stories” feature on their social media platform that allows users to post real-time content only accessible for 24 hours. In addition, users can alter the photos using filters, drawing tools and emoticons. Sound familiar? If you’re a Snapchat user, then this feature is old news to you.

There was nothing innovative by Instagram here. It was a reaction to a popular movement and an opportunity to advance. While change is constant and it’s important to always be elevating your product and your brand, it’s just as important to focus on what you do best and not try and be everything to everyone. But is that the case here – is this a bad move for the brand?

Instagram has dominated the social media space when it comes to image sharing, so much so that they were acquired by Facebook. Now they are trying to cater to a broader audience by introducing features adopted by other popular social media platforms that aren’t their own.

The social app is a behemoth when it comes to a network dedicated to sharing pictures and videos. The stories feature is just another channel for its audience to utilize. The new feature isn’t outside the realm of their work, but simply an extension of its existing services. Instagram’s users are already familiar with the idea of sharing tidbits of our lives and interests. Now, it’s just compilation of these images and videos at an expiring rate.

It may not be an original idea for Instagram, but it’s an important part of their continued growth and success. The stories feature enables Instagram to better attract the younger 18-34-year-olds who have a more natural inclination to use the ‘fun’ social sharing app that is Snapchat. This move is likely to expand their overall reach in audience, as their existing users tend to have more refined and curated content than rival Snapchat users. Now, they’ll have both.

Adapting your business to the market isn’t any kind of revelation. We’ve seen this time and time again in all industries through the years: social networks (MySpace to Facebook), mobile devices (evolution of the smartphone), and automobiles (cars, vans, and trucks) have all seen similar gambits with only subtle tweaks. Building on what a competitor has already created, and making it better, is just the name of the game. 

Devoted users of Snapchat may cry foul for such a similar service offered by Instagram, but it’s just another business adapting to the market. Remember, it’s not about who did it first. It’s about who did it best. Your move, Snapchat.

  1. James Rathwell 23/08/2016, 5:05:02 PM

    Any good app or business needs to adapt to the changing market. Snapchat has shifted numerous times since it’s inception, and has benefited from these changes. Adding “stories” to Instagram isn’t going to take away from Snapchat, it will only serve to inspire Snapchat to evolve. Snapchat’s recent acquisition of Vurb shows a glimpse of where their next evolution is headed. Snapchat is still the fastest growing Social App, and with pending future updates to it’s platform, it doesn’t look like they’re slowing down any time soon.

    • Ryan Gee 24/08/2016, 8:59:30 AM

      Thanks for the note, James. It’ll be interesting to see how Snapchat does evolve. These apps are bound to push each other to do great things.

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