It is no news that Facebook have being copying all kinds of Snapchat features and integrating them into their own products. One of the earliest features stolen from Snapchat was the Instagram Stories launched about three months ago.
Three months later, Facebook can now beat their chest in self-congratulatory gestures for the success of Instagram Stories.
Now they have introduced 3 new features to make Instagram Stories more exciting. What these new features really does to Instagram Stories is that for the first time, Stories on Instagram is really distinct from Stories on Snapchat.
Finally, Instagram Stories would no longer look like a bad clone of Snapchat Stories. So while they are at it, why not look for a new name for Instagram Stories to complete the make-over.
The the new features added to instagram Stories are Mentions, Links and Boomerang.
This seems clear enough. With links, users on Instagran can add unique URL to the stories they created on Instagram Stories.
By clicking the URL, users would be taken to a website where a more detailed version of the story is available. Clicking on the link would open a browser right in Instagram Stories, ensuring that you actually never leave Instagram.
To avoid cluttering the Stories interface with too many icons or buttons, the URL is hidden under a button labelled ‘See More‘. Tapping it would show you the link if there is one.
For now, ‘Links’ is only available to verified Instagram accounts. So expect to see big companies, e-commerce sites and popular blogs pushing out content on Instagram Stories with this feature that would take you to their website.
Certainly, ‘Links’ would impact positively on traffic to these websites.
Instagram did not say if and when other users of Instagram would enjoy this feature.
‘Mentions‘ in Instagram Stories employs the use of the @ symbol to tag users viewing Instagram Stories.
This is how it works: before finally posting an image or a video on Instagram Stories, you can tag one of your viewers’ Instagram name with these feature.
Just like writing out a text; this time though, you hit the @ symbol followed by the username of the person you want to tag. After typing the first few letters of the username, Instagram would automatically complete the surname saving you a lot of headache in remembering the correct spelling.
Once this is done and posted, the username would be underlined and highlighted. This means other viewing the stories would be able to tap the username to take them to that user’s profile.
If someone is tagged, the person would receive a notification. On the other hand, if the tagged person is not a follower on Instagram, they would receive the notification in the form of a ‘request’ in the appropriate folder.
The number of people that can be tagged in a single story is 10. This feature would be available to all users unlike ‘Links.’
Boomerang is an Instagram app launched last year. It was supposed to be an exciting new addition to Instagram, that is at the same time, separate from Instagram.
The standalone app helps you create 1 second video loop that you can share on Instagram, Facebook or on any other platform. The good thing about it is that you don’t need to have an Instagram account to use it.
Adding Boomerang to Instagram Stories is sure to boost the app as it seems many people are not really into it.
When creating a new story on Instagram, instead of using ‘Normal‘ mode, you can swipe to ‘Boomerang’ mode to make your stories. So there is no need to leave Instagram if you want to use Boomerang.
But here is the thing: Boomerang is only available to you on Instagram when you want to create Instagram stories. If you want to post your Boomerang to just the main Instagram, you still have to use the Boomerang app.
Like Mentions, this feature is available to all Instagram users.
image credit: techcrunch.com; blog.instagram.com