App Watch

By: Nick Gambino

Instagram has just released a new feature that allows you to post a self-destructing story. And no, I don’t mean a story about how you keep letting Carlos get too close knowing it’ll only end in heart-break. Carlos is a player, Kelly, get over it!giphy (24)

No, I’m talking about a photo or video story that self-destructs after a set amount of time much the way Snapchat does.

Instagram Stories works pretty much the same as Snapchat stories. You combine a number of photos or videos into a story that friends can see. But unlike the rest of your posts on Instagram you can select who can see the story. In other words, the stories are limited to a select number of eyes and only for 24 hours.

You can add filters, text, emoji’s or even draw on the individual photo or video before you add it to the story. The filters are definitely a major step up from Snapchat but it lacks anything resembling Snapchat lenses which are all the rage right now. You know, the feature that allows you to puke rainbows or pant like a dog.giphy (26)

Now while you might think this is a straight rip-off of Snapchat stories (and you wouldn’t be totally wrong) it’s worth considering that most social media apps are borrowing from the model set forth by another platform.

“Our belief is that ‘stories’ is going to become a common format; that is developed on multiple apps and services,” Head of Product at Instagram, Kevin Weil told WIRED. “Facebook was the first to introduce the Feed, now tons of apps have feeds and you don’t think anything of it when another app uses a feed – it’s the same thing with hashtags.”

You got a point there, Kev. Though let’s see what another Kevin had to say i.e., CEO of Instagram Kevin Systrom.

“They deserve all the credit,” he told TechCrunch when confronted with the fact that it’s basically a copy of Snapchat’s format. “Gmail was not the first email client. Google Maps was certainly not the first map. The iPhone was definitely not the first phone. The question is what do you do with that format?”

Wow, Kev 2, you’ve convinced me. And so far Instagram Stories looks like a pretty robust feature.instagram 3

Now it’s only in its infancy so I’m curious to see what kind of features they add to really set it apart from Snapchat. I’m also curious to see if they add an alert when someone screenshots your story. Hey, we have to separate the creepers from the super creepers.

What do you think of Instagram Stories? Great new feature or cheap carbon copy of Snapchat? Hit us up in the comments below! Or on Instagram!


Nick Gambino is a regular script writer and tech beat reporter for NewsWatch. He lives in Northern Virginia with his wife and daughter.