So today I woke up to the latest release of Instagram which now includes a story feature allowing you to share your story as well as your usual Instagram feed. Instagram Stories lets you share photos and video clips as a storyline but doesn’t post them onto your normal feed essentially allowing you to share your day without oversharing and clogging up your timeline. Unless I’m travelling I have a strict no more than three images a day policy which means I have to be selective on what I post and generally this is when I turn to Snapchat.
Same Same But Different
Instagram Stories – It’s a bit similar to Snapchat in that you can add text to your photo and also draw and doodle over the photo and be creative. You can share as much as you want over the day and your story is woven together into a sort of slideshow which people can view at their leisure. There are a few filters which seem to just alter the tone of your image but no Geo Filters so no more cute Dubai overlays or Geo tags which make travel fun and are also a powerful marketing tool for the wise. There are also no Masks so goodbye people pretending to have rainbows instead of tongues, or everyone wearing a flower tiara – cute as they are!. Of course that’s what we have on day one, who knows what will be coming in the future, I’m sure there will be more developments.
You can choose who you allow to see your stories from just allowing your followers to see your stories, or everybody. You can even go down to an individual level and not let them see your stories (helpful if you want to block your mum from seeing what a party animal you really are or for hiding part of your day if that’s what you want to do LOL)
Stories disappear after 24 hours, but you can download them into your photo gallery if you want to keep them, or share them on your IG feed (it looks like you can only do this on an individual picture/video basis unlike Snapchat which allows you to download a whole story in one go).
Whilst people can’t like or comment on your stories publicly like on your IG feed, it’s possible for you to see how many people have viewed each part of your story and even go down the list to see who viewed your story if you want to. There’s also the facility to chat to someone, albeit via Direct Message which stays in your DM box rather than disappearing like on Snapchat.
A quick flick along the top of my IG feed shows that plenty of people are trying out the new feature – this morning already I’ve had a quick virtual tour of a dog friendly hotel, seen plenty of people wishing everyone good morning, followed Eric Lanlard (my favourite patisserier) on his drive to work, seen a few adverts for products and services (I almost bought something so it worked!). I’ve seen quite a few people making and drinking breakfast, saw a comedy skiff by Matt Mendariz playfully confusing Snapchat and IG Stories.
I’ve had my ears blasted with too loud music (keep the volume down please – I’m trying to pretend I’m at work) and saw more selfies than I would like, and some cute animals and so on and so on. It’s a sneak peak at people’s every day lives without having to leave your sofa. Thankfully you can click through the stories quite quickly. Even so, it’s draining my battery quite quickly and will no doubt burn my data when I’m out and about. Even more people will be walking around the malls with their head buried in their phone, if they’re not looking for Pokemon characters they might be watching you going about your day life!.
Despite all of that … it’s kinda quite addictive in a voyeuristic kind of way
Instagram v’s Snapchat
Is Instagram going to give Snapchat a run for its money? …. Absolutely!
The numbers – I’ve got over 11,000 followers on Instagram and a lot less than that on Snapchat. Interaction on Instagram is way higher on Snapchat. Having said that I haven’t given Snapchat a proper chance. I joined Snapchat maybe six months ago and have never been a committed Snapper, some days it works for me and some days it doesn’t. On a pure numbers basis Instagram wins as I already have an established audience.
Snapchat wins on a few fronts for me – the filters and masks are fun also you can load just the stories from people who you want whereas it looks like on Instagram Stories you can’t choose who you want to see and don’t want to see – I’m guessing that algorithms are at work here so it will be interesting to see how this develops.
It’s early days so I’ll probably keep on with both for now, but at some stage am likely to drop something and at the moment I’m thinking that Snapchat will go. The interesting thing will be to see what happens to Snapchat. Will they respond with more features? Will Instagram add more functionality to Stories? Only time will tell I guess, in the meantime I will play with both and watch what happens with interest.