Now, we’re all guilty of over-indulging our narcissistic alter-egos; but in today’s day & age it’s all cool to live your life on social media, as long as the 100th selfie is perfect and the lighting is on-point! But, come to think of it, what really adds fuel to this raging social media fire is technology that indulges us like a doting parent. A dollop of butter on this social pie is Instagram’s latest upgrade that allows you to share photos and videos as stories that will eventually disappear from the app’s history. Novel? Not really. If that is making you call out ‘Snapchat’, congratulations, you’re not alone!
But is it really the same story, just a different app? May be, maybe not? Here’s all you need to know about the feature!
Snapchatty, well, almost!
There’s no point beating around the bush. Yes, the upgrade is a lot like Snapchat. However, it does hold its own with grace. On Instagram Stories, like Snapchat, you can post content (photos and videos lasting up to 10 seconds) that vanishes in 24 hours. The content appears like a slide show right above the usual home grid—an ease of browsing that possibly will give Instagram Stories an edge over Snapchat. You can even add drawings, text, emojis and swipe-able colour filters to your images. While individual story slides can be saved to your phone, it allows users to see who has viewed their story. Also, just like Snapchat allows users to chat over a post, Instagram Stories lets you send users a direct message about their story.
However, not all of it is like Snapchat. It differs on a number of grounds, majorly involving saving stories, adding content and customising photos. Unlike Snapchat, users cannot save a full-day’s story; however, they can still post slides from the story to their Instagram feed, making them permanent in some way. Also, one cannot upload old photos or videos unless they have been re-imported or one has screen shots of it; a feature Snapchat allows through ‘Memories’. Instagram Stories may also seem tad drab due to the lack of fun filters like the ones Snapchat has. But who knows, once the heat is on, Insta may feel compelled to alter itself.
Also, if you’re used to going all out with posting on Snapchat, thanks to the fact that it notifies users when someone takes a screen grab of the content; you may want to hold back risqué content as Instagram Stories fails notify users of screenshots being taken.
A no-judgements medium
When Instagram launched years ago, it served as a great medium for users to share priceless moments from their day with friends. But, with popularity and the advent of social media advertising came the struggle and pressures of procuring the most ‘likes’ on a post. However, Instagram Stories offers users some respite from the rat-race for popularity. There is no way you can like an Instagram Story, you can, at most, see how many people have viewed your story. In a nutshell, it is a feature purely for sharing content without judgements.
Matters of Privacy
If your Instagram account is a public one, like the original feed, anyone can view your Instagram story without having to follow you. Just tapping on the profile photo gives users access to the stories. The rules that applied to private accounts, too, remain unchanged.
Sharing is Caring
Ever since its launch, Instagram was all about sharing chunks of one’s life with people. While it did catch up with a generation that swears by vanity, it always came with the awkwardness of posting ‘too much’. Thought there are users who use the app with caution, we all have those friends who perpetually spam our timeliness with their pictures.
Snapchat, with its disappearing content, in many ways, relieved that stress of posting too much, which eventually had people share content on the app, without hesitation and as much as they liked. It is this emotion of sharing without inhibitions that Instagram Stories aims to cash in on.
Haters can hate no more
What is totally lovable about Instagram Stories is that you can actually filter your audience. All you got to do is simply go to Story Settings in the menu and tap on Hide My Story From. So, be it your frenemies or family, you can gladly share what you like, as you like, without those you don’t want finding out!
Verdict: We’ve often heard the relatively ‘older’ folks complain about how Snapchat is a baby of the millennials. If you’ve heard yourself complain too, Instagram Stories is meant for you. The fact that one can post the ‘Snapchat way’ on a medium that one is familiar earns the Insta feature every brownie point there is.
Just in case it’s the lack of funky Snapchat filters that is holding you back, remember, the initial version of the app didn’t have the filters we’re so used to playing around with. Unless Instagram chooses to go on without additions, chances of this new feature going kaput are slim!
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