Alec William England | Social media marketing
 Alec England
Centerlyne Columnist

Instagram just unveiled their new “stories” feature. It’s like Snapchat, but on Instagram. Really, it’s pretty underwhelming. If you want to beat the competition, take a step ahead of them. Don’t copy them.

Instagram Stories

Instagram has just unveiled the latest feature to their platform with the hopes of growing their user base even larger than it already is. It is called “Instagram Stories”. You know Snapchat Stories? This is the same thing. Only on Instagram instead of Snapchat.

As a regular user of Instagram, it is unfortunate to see them get so excited about this “new” feature. Personally, I don’t get what all of the excitement is about. But take a look at their main advertised features for it below and let us what you think on our Facebook page (Centerlyne Design LLC).

1. Users can take photos or videos that can be seen by their followers for 24 hours.
Snapchat already does that…
2. Users can decorate their photos and videos with text.
Snapchat already does that…
3. Users can decorate their photos and videos with drawings.
Snapchat already does that…
4. Users can control who sees their story.
Okay, there is something new. Viewer control. But why wouldn’t you direct message your photos and videos to specific followers at that point?

Personally, I am a big fan of Instagram. I use it and enjoy it daily. I love the simplicity of it. Photos and videos only with comments and likes under it. No 2,000-character status updates about whatever hot-button topic is trending at the moment. Instagram knows what their users want and it dominates it’s specific niche in the social media market. But this “addition” to the platform is both unimaginative and unnecessary.

I am not alone when I say that seeing the stories feature at the top of my Instagram news feed reminds me of Snapchat. In the social media game, you never EVER want to have your users remember competing platforms when using your platform. It is too easy for them to switch over to using that platform instead. With this feature, Instagram has literally driven their traffic to Snapchat. Maybe there is some higher-up corporate stuff at play here, but from a user standpoint Instagram Stories is a bad move for the platform itself and their user base. They will all be reminded of Snapchat Stories and check those instead.

Instagram, I am sorry to share all of this, but it is from a good place. As a regular user and a fan, I sincerely hope that your next update include something innovative and new. Not a copy of your rival’s product. I mean, what’s next? Facebook stories? LinkedIn stories? Pinterest stories?

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