Instagram seems to be winning in the Snapchat battle. Now they are opening up their version of Stories to any photos and videos in your photo library. Originally, you could only post images and videos that you captured through the app. They then updated the feature to include photos and videos captured within the last 24 hours. What is this going to do? Removing the restriction might encourage more users to share photos and videos with the feature. They are also adding a new date sticker to demonstrate when photos are “in the moment” versus already taken. The stickers feature is optional, however.
The big question is whether or not this will encourage new people to start using this feature. As someone who doesn’t use Instagram Stories, I am kind of intrigued. But as someone who can be extremely stubborn, I’m also not sure that this will win me over. What is neat about the feature is that it allows you to take a picture and enjoy the moment without having to post it right away. Which means – if you’re spending the weekend on a beautiful beach, you can snap as many pictures as you want and then post them Monday morning on your way to the office. (If you’re not driving, that is.)
Photos and videos shared to Stories are still viewable by your followers for 24 hours before they expire. The shift with this feature might not be all that appealing to people. Afterall, the “fun” of the disappearing stories was that you could feel like you were following along with a person’s day in real time. But some people (celebrities and influencers) were finding a way around the limit, so Instagram decided to get rid of it. But is this the right move?
Since Stories debuted in August 2016, the app has seen incredible growth. In fact, they were up to 200 million daily users as of September 2017. Snapchat’s growth has leveled out in the last few months. They are still experiencing growth, but not at the same rate as Instagram. This seems to answer the question I posed in the previous paragraph. Of course, it’s the right move. Well, if it provides the continued growth that Instagram is looking for.
Will this promote more #throwbackthursday or #flashbackfriday posts? Are there any downsides to this? I think the answer to that second question is no. It’s a social media platform. The worst thing it’s doing is possibly misleading people because of the nature of Stories is real-time, and this is providing a way to flashback. But what kind of harm can that do? My honest guess is none.
I am not usually a big supporter of Instagram updates. Mostly because I feel like the platform is moving away from its original raison-d’etre, and I am a bit of a traditionalist. That said, I have been thinking about using Stories and I just might take it out for a spin this weekend. It looks like an interesting update, and more valuable than some of their other features.