Instagram has been accused of ripping off Snapchat with the launch of the new feature, Instagram Stories. Rolling out from tomorrow, Instagram Stories is an additional video function which allows users to post videos that disappear after 24 hours.
In their email press release Instagram said:
With Instagram Stories, you don’t have to worry about over-posting. Photos and videos in your story disappear after 24 hours and don’t appear on your profile, and reactions and conversations stay private. In addition, stories are easy to share with just who you want (and hide from who you want).
It sure sounds like Snapchat.
Recently on the Mamamia Out Loud Podcast, Mons, Mia and Kate spoke about the social media platforms they are using.
Brian Barrett from Wired said, “Again, it can’t be stressed enough how much this isn’t just like Snapchat, it is Snapchat. That’s not just some media hype; Instagram openly acknowledges the similarities.”
Barrett contacted Instagram who stated, “Stories are a new format that’s just starting to see broad adoption, and we’re excited to bring them to Instagram and help evolve them.”
Snapchat declined to comment.
How to use Instagram Stories:
Download the latest Instagram update as soon as it becomes available and a series of circular avatars will appear at the top of your feed.
Any avatar with a ring around it means the user has updated their feed recently and you can select their profile picture to be taken to their Instagram story.
To create an Instagram story, select the new "+" icon on the upper left-hand corner of your Instagram page and take a photo or video from there. It will land in your Instagram Stories stream and disappear in 24 hours.
Instagram Stories content will not appear on your main page on Instagram.
Public reaction to Instagram's new feature has been mostly of outrage. However, Barrett says this is just how the tech industry works, highlighting Twitter's launch last month of Snapchat-like stickers; Snapchat adding Instagram-like photo storage a few weeks before that with the failed Slingshot app; and Facebook attempting to borrow an Instagram-style feature called Facebook Cameria in 2012, which failed.
A month later, Facebook purchased Instagram for a billion dollars (approximately AU$ 1.3 billion). And so on, and so forth. Until they all eat each other up.
In 2013, Facebook tried to buy Snapchat from CEO Evan Spiegel (who has recently got engaged to Australian model Miranda Kerr) but he rejected the US$3 billion deal (approximately AU$3.9 billion). Why would he sell? Instagram is the market leader in what is known as "ephemeral messaging".
Instagram Stories will begin rolling out globally tomorrow on iOS and Android.