Instagram made waves in the social media world on Tuesday with a seemingly out-of-nowhere addition to the sharing capability of the app by launching Instagram “Stories”. If you are at all familiar with social media, then you know that Snapchat was the first app to hit it big in the story game. For those who don’t know: a story is a short video/picture sequence that is shared on one’s main platform, visible to all viewers who follow you.
Many see this move as cheap and perhaps a misstep on the part of Instagram due to the popularity of the Snapchat story. Maybe Instagram is just trying to catch the tailwind of the personal broadcast movement in the social media realm, or perhaps this is a case of “Anything you can do, I can do better.” Here I would like to lay out the pros and cons of Instagram’s latest feature.
1. Allows You to Reach A Wider Audience
Most people have more Instagram followers than friends on Snapchat (at least I do, anyway). The story feature on Instagram will allow you to reach all of your followers simultaneously, and the sheer amount of followers that most users have on Instagram will allow them to share their message with a much greater following.
2. De-Formalizes the Instagram Post
I don’t know about you, but most users on Instagram have to make sure that a picture/video is PERFECT before posting. Don’t lie to yourself, you know you take and retake those selfies looking for the perfect angle and lighting. The story feature is much more informal, making it easy for Instagram to increase posts and general traffic on the app and keep users engaged.
3. Levels The Playing Field
If you are in the social media game as an app or developer, you know that it is important to have as many features available to share content. The simple fact is this: Snapchat had a feature that Instagram did not, which could make a user choose one app over the other.
1. Ease of Use
Snapchat’s story feature is much easier to use. You open the app and immediately the camera is open and ready for use. In Instagram’s setup, you have to click the add icon, a small and enigmatic circle in the top left corner of the app’s home screen. This may seem like a small inconvenience, but app developers know that even the smallest of nuances can be a turn off to users.
2. Snapchat Did it First
This is probably the most basic argument that anyone could make against Instagram for adding the story feature to their capability. Snapchat was first on the scene. Sometimes the follower in the technological world gains steam, but not when they are this late on the party. Snapchat already captured most of the user base that this feature appeals to, and will, in my opinion, retain it.