So you want to send ephemeral photos and videos, but can’t be bothered with downloading Snapchat and learning how to use it. You’re in luck! Instagram is debuting “Instagram Stories“: You can now post photos and videos to your “story,” and they will disappear after 24 hours.
Here’s Instagram explaining the revolutionary feature in its blog post:
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.
This is not a shot across the bow. This is Snapchat Stories, but on Instagram.
Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom told the New York Times that Instagram has been interested in adding this feature for a while. As the Times notes, he isn’t framing Instagram Stories as something novel. Instead, he believes Stories are now a “format,” similar to, say, the algorithmic feed.
Sure! Or this is a ploy to get more people posting on Instagram, since the app has seen a decline in sharing—and maybe an attempt to target the 250 million people using Instagram’s direct message feature monthly.