Expanding its never-ending empire, Instagram has launched Stories, a new feature that moves away from ‘life highlight’ pictures to capturing everyday moments through video and images that last for 24 hours only.

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Sound familiar? Before we explore the features of Stories, let’s confront the elephant in the room: Instagram has copied Snapchat. And why wouldn’t they? Snapchat has successfully evolved our social lives – giving instantaneous content to users around the world and its estimated 150 million daily users. Instagram has the tools and users to take this and make it better, and it already has.

After using Stories for a few days, it’s easy to see that it’s much better designed than Snapchat and although there’s no dog filters, face swaps or cool geo-filters (yet), it gets the big thumbs up from us.

Here’s our favourite things so far about Instagram Stories:

  • Simple to use: There’s no doubt that Instagram Stories is easier to use than Snapchat. With top tips and walk through guides, there’s no confusion on how to use the feature and more importantly, it lives at the top of your newsfeed so is easy to locate and access.
  • Sense of community: Instagram has cleverly managed to build a sense of community by capitilising on the large network it has already built. You can see stories from everyone you follow without having to individually input and add each username like with Snapchat and it gives real insight into the people you’ve never met, but followed for years on Instagram.
  • More content: With the addition of Stories, Instagram is no longer about beautiful pics and special occasions, it’s now fast becoming about the everyday. There’s no need to worry about spamming your friend’s feeds with loads of images and it eliminates gaps in uploading because you didn’t have an image that was ‘Instagram worthy’.
  • Screenshot away: There’s no holding back with screenshotting on Instagram Stories as one thing it hasn’t copied is Snapchat’s feature of notifying a user when their post has been screenshotted – perfect for saving content.
  • Blocking tool: Instagram Stories allows you to view stories of people you’re not even following, provided their profile is public. The same goes for the stories you share as the feature mirrors your account privacy settings. You can also block individual people from seeing certain stories and can see who’s viewed each one of your stories.

It’s only in its infancy and it may take some time, but Instagram Stories has the ability to outshine and overtake Snapchat. Having everything under one app will be a huge pull for its millions of users and it’s only an update away!

Photo credit: Instagram