There is a new Instagram feature, that will allow users to privately archive their Stories that have been posted in the app. When I first heard about this, I thought it gave other people the ability to save your Stories, privately within their app. But I was incorrect – it’s you who can save your own Stories. Previously, the Stories would disappear after 24 hours and there was no way to hold onto them, until now. This is a feature that you will be able to opt out of, but you are also able to display your archived Stories onto your public profile if you wish.
Is this a feature that you will use? I honestly wonder if it’s going to get a lot of use? I mean all you’re doing is saving the Story to your phone. Presumably, you have the photos or videos somewhere on your phone that you can pull back up and even re-post, so why is this even necessary? This feature, as you might have guessed, is another feature that has been copied from Snapchat. They launched their version, known as Memories, last year. But the archive feature differs slightly from Instagram as you can post your old Stories to your profile in a feature called Highlights. You will be able to package old stories together in the archive and give them a name, and then share them to your profile. So is this really that different?
What’s interesting is that Instagram is saying that Highlights represents their biggest change to the platform in years. Is this for real? Years? What can’t be denied is that Stories is taking over. Right now, you can access Stories at both the top of the app, and part way down when you’re scrolling. The archive is presented in reverse-chronological order, with the most recent stories at the top. Stories are stamped with a date to help you navigate while you scroll. Once you select a story, you can re-share it to other parts of Instagram — as a post to your profile, say, or as a direct message.
As you can imagine, the reason for this development is the sheer fact that Snapchat Memories exists. But I wonder how necessary this even is? The more dramatic change, though is with the archive in Highlights. Up until now, Instagram profiles have been places for carefully manicured self-presentation. In a lot of ways, people will get to know you through your Instagram profile and pictures. Highlights could liven up profiles with the typically more candid photos and videos that often appear in stories. As a byproduct, they’ll likely increase the amount of video on most people’s profiles as well. I suspect brands may like Highlights more than regular users do — they offer a convenient way to package related content together and surface it in a prominent place in the app.
I know that I will sound like a broken record, but why can’t any of these apps come up with unique new features? This is what bothers me so much about this Instagram/Snapchat rivalry – nothing is new. All the features are just being recycled and we call them by a different name. These features are all the same. Please, please, please, for the sake of my sanity, give me something unique for once!