Let the battle of the social media channels begin! Instagram recently shocked the world on 8/2/16 by releasing an app update that looked very (and oddly) familiar – Instagram Stories. That’s right, just as users can create stories on Snapchat, they can now do almost the exact same thing on Instagram. This creates a dilemma for users, especially if they are not looking to share duplicate content among various social media channels. Which social channel will users gravitate towards?
Snapchat has been on the rise for some time now and Facebook took note of this right away. In fact, Facebook offered to buy Snapchat back in 2014 for $3 billion dollars. Snapchat CEO Evan Speigl rejected this offer, and continued on the quest to build up the company he started. Facebook currently owns Instagram, and with this latest update it seems as though they are looking to give their users a similar experience to what is available on Snapchat.
Here is everything you need to know about Instagram Stories and how to get started.
Intro to Instagram Stories
In order to be able to have access to Instagram stories, you first need to update the app. When you open Instagram, you will notice a new layout on the home page. Changes are highlighted in red in the photo below.
At the very top, you’ll see your friends’ profile photos/usernames who have created a story within the last 24 hours. You can click on a follower whose story you wish to view and just as with Snapchat, these stories are available for 24 hours. Also like Snapchat, you will automatically move onto the next story once you finishing viewing the story of the follower you clicked on. You will find a colorful circle around followers who have a new picture or video in their story that you have not viewed. If there is just a white circle around the user’s profile photo, it means you have already viewed their full story. You can view someone’s story as many times as you wish until it is taken down.
Creating a story
To create your very own Instagram story, click the + sign at the top left of the home screen.
This will open up the camera, giving you the option to snap a photo or a quick video. At the bottom of the screen you can turn the flash on/off and flip the camera to front facing. The middle button is used to take either a single snapshot or to take a video by holding the button down.
Once you take a photo, you can personalize it with a couple of fun features. Click the ‘Aa’ sign to add text to your photo or video. If you’re looking to be a little more creative, click the marker, which will open up some fun colors and different markers that you can use to draw on your image. There are also a limited amount of filters that you can use by swiping left. Once you’re ready to post, click the check mark.
If you are interested in some additional settings, click on your story from the home newsfeed. First, you’ll be able to see what others see when they view your story, like the image below. Click the three little dots at the bottom right to access the settings.
From this screen, you can delete the photo from your story, save the photo to your phone, share the photo as a post on your profile, or access your Story Settings. When you click Story Settings, you can choose to hide your story from particular people and whether or not you want to allow message replies.
As you can see, Instagram Stories are relatively easy to create and to use, especially since the process is so similar to Snapchat. One big thing that Snapchat still has going for them is the fact that they offer the ever-popular face filters, which some users just cannot get enough of. Instagram Stories only currently offer some overlay filters, but there’s no telling what new features they’ll add next.
What are your thoughts on Instagram Stories?