With New Feature, Instagram Copies A Page From Snapchat’s Story

By Paresh Dave
Los Angeles Times

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) The new feature, “Instagram Stories” embraces the self-destructing-message structure at the core of Snapchat. Photos and videos posted to the new section on Instagram will be visible for 24 hours before disappearing.

LOS ANGELES

Mark Zuckerberg’s quest to vanquish Snapchat has spread to his lieutenants.

The Facebook chief executive has launched several largely unsuccessful attempts to dethrone the Los Angeles company’s app as the favorite among teens and young adults for quick social media sharing. Now, for the first time, Facebook’s Instagram division is taking on Snapchat.

Instagram Stories, announced Tuesday, embraces the self-destructing-message structure at the core of Snapchat. Photos and videos posted to the new section of Instagram will be visible to followers for 24 hours before disappearing from the app.

Instagram and Facebook want to encourage the sharing of images, but Instagram’s always had an air of perfection: Boring and poorly shot images not welcome. Stories aims to provide a forum where artful photography is less of a priority since images aren’t preserved forever.

But Snapchat has had a nearly identical Stories feature since 2013. Instagram Chief Executive Kevin Systrom acknowledged in media interviews published Tuesday that others “deserve credit” for the stories idea, which provides a sort of recap of a user’s day.

Instagram Stories follows Facebook’s release of apps such as Riff and Slingshot and tweaks to its chat app Messenger that took swipes at Snapchat. But none has appeared to place a large block on the growth of Snapchat, which has about 150 million daily users versus more than 1 billion on Facebook and 300 million on Instagram. The services also want the attention of advertisers, who are expected to spend nearly $30 billion on social media ads worldwide this year.

Zuckerberg had identified Snapchat as a strong product, and perhaps a concern, at least three years ago and made a failed bid to buy the startup for $3 billion.

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