It took humans a really really long time to be the cognitively impressive, top-of-the-food-chain, Game-of-Thrones watching super species that we are. Thanks, Evolution! And much like our biological battle to be the best fit, the social-media-scape is constantly evolving. Except instead of having millions of years to discover fire, the Internet has about two seconds (if we’re being generous) to adapt or get left for dead (see: MySpace). This week’s groundbreaking social media evolution: Instagram Stories (IS).
So, let’s talk about what exactly IS does, and how it makes Instagram better.
Anyone who uses Snapchat will be immediately familiar with IS. Much like everyone’s favorite ghost photo app, Instagram’s new rollout allows you to:
- Post pictures and videos to your followers that will disappear after 24 hours.
- Add filters, stickers, text, and the classic “drawing mustaches on your mom’s face”
- Keep tabs on who’s viewing your content.
- Respond to other people’s stories via private message.
But you don’t get to be the Big Kahuna by just copy-pasting a competitor’s interface: Instagram has quite a few spiffy tricks up its sleeve.
There are two giant, unique boons to IS. Firstly: IT’S INSTAGRAM! Because this is a service being directly integrated into a popular pre-existing platform, users come in immediately with extensive follower bases and interface familiarity. Not only that, but you can choose to feature any picture or video from your Story on your Insta-feed. Does that IS video of your kittens doing gymnastics really speak to you? Great! Show everyone on your feed! Or, don’t! IS gives Instagram users a breath of freedom.
The second great functionality feature is privacy. Your IS mimics your Instagram privacy settings. This means that you can keep it private or public, which definitely distinguishes IS from Snap. Businesses can maintain public feeds and seamlessly display there IS brilliance to the masses, while anyone looking to live stream their Bachelorette viewing experience can keep it local. Again, IS is all about adding flexibility to an established social media superpower.
Some quick tips to keep in mind:
- You can’t like or comment on an IS, only send a PM.
* You can’t post pre-existing content as an IS; that’s for your feed only.
- You have the option to hide your IS from specific people if you choose!
Lastly, it’s important to remember that Snapchat is still an astoundingly important and really fun app! IS still lacks Geo-Tags, extensive filter options, QR-based follower addition, and those funny little faces/hearts/flames that help you know the extent of your snap friendship.
So there you have it: Instagram’s latest adaptive attempt to be the Big Kahuna. We’re entering a new era of cutthroat social media competition, and at the end of the day, it’s really about what platform you jive with most. But whether you’re an Insta vet or a Snap fiend, new toys are always fun. And this one is sure to be a game-changer!