We know tech firms blatantly copy each other a lot. Especially if they feel a particular product or service is too good not to key into the gravy train. So it is not surprising Instagram decided to copy Snapchat with a new product it called Instagram Stories.
What is surprising to me is why the the highly paid engineers at Instagram could not come up with a different name. At least try and pretend to be unique. It was a almost a total copy of Snapchat’s Stories with only the name Instagram being the marked difference.
At least when Facebook copied Twitter’s Periscope when they entered the live video niche, they did not call it Facebook Periscope. They uncreatively called it Facebook Live. And today, Facebook Live is recognizable everywhere, even surpassing Periscope.
Funny thing about how the world works that when writers steal the works of other writers, they are called out and shamed as plagiarists. Maybe, instead of lengthy copyright infringement battles in court, tech firms should also have a damning word to describe incidents like this.
However, this piece is not to cast undue aspersions on Instagram for doing what is common in the tech world. After all, Snapchat is guilty of even a bigger crime of stealing the works of artists and making them part of their photo filters.
If you are familiar with Snapchat stories, understanding Instagram Stories won’t be a problem. Long story short, you arrange you photos in a sequence to pass on a message to people peeking at them.
For instance, you can take a series of photos over a 24 hour period. Basically what happened to you in a day from the moment you woke up. Then arrange them sequentially so that viewers can look at them and get an idea about how your day went.
You can also do the same with a series of short videos.
And to complete the Snapchat cloning, images or videos on Instagram Stories never get to stay beyond 24 hours. Meaning, the system deletes the story after 24 hours whether you like to delete it or not.
This is how Instagram announced the advent of Stories in a blog post:
Today, we’re introducing Instagram Stories, a new feature that lets you share all the moments of your day, not just the ones you want to keep on your profile. As you share multiple photos and videos, they appear together in a slideshow format: your story.
With Instagram Stories, you don’t have to worry about overposting. Instead, you can share as much as you want throughout the day — with as much creativity as you want. You can bring your story to life in new ways with text and drawing tools. The photos and videos will disappear after 24 hours and won’t appear on your profile grid or in feed.
You’ll see stories from people you follow in a bar at the top of your feed — from your best friends to your favorite popular accounts. When there’s something new to see, their profile photo will have a colorful ring around it.”
How to view Instagram Stories
To look at someone’s stories is easy. All you need to do is to tap the profile picture of the person.
You can also control how you view Stories. To move forward or backward, you just hit the screen. And if you find the story boring or you simply want to move on to different Instagram Stories, just swipe to view a different person’s story.
You want to send a message because you liked what you saw? You can do it through a private message but never in such a way that other people can see your comments.
Privacy Settings on Stories
Though what users post on Instagram deletes after 24 hours, additional privacy are in place to control the people you are comfortable watching your stories.
From the settings, you can tweak it so that only people who follow you can view your stories. You can even take it a step further by even removing some of your followers from your view-list.
On the other hand, you can just leave the default settings which allows anybody to view your stories. Followers or not.
Are you on Instagram? This is an opportunity to enjoy what the folks on Snapchat have been enjoying for quite sometime now.
image credit: gizmodo.com; techcrunch.com