Instagram reveals Snapchat-killer: a new ephemeral feature called Instagram Stories

2 Aug 2016

The battle of the photo apps is getting serious between Instagram and Snapchat with the launch of ephemeral Instagram Stories

Instagram has brought the battle of the photo apps to a new level with the launch of Instagram Stories, where photos and videos disappear after 24 hours and don’t appear in your profile.

The idea behind Instagram Stories is that they are easy to share with who you want, as well as easy to keep hidden from those you don’t want to see them.

Instagram has more than 500m users, of whom 300m use the app daily.

‘Your story follows the privacy settings of your account’

Future Human

Snapchat, meanwhile, is estimated to have 150m users every day – more than Twitter, which has less than 140m daily users.

Ironically, as Facebook-owned Instagram reveals ephemeral features, Snapchat recently began introducing features that allow users to save old photos in a private archive.

Post it, share it, draw it and forget it


Similar to Snapchat, users can draw on images to narrate their stories

As users share multiple photos and videos, they appear together in a slideshow format.

“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.”

Users will see Stories from people they follow in a bar at the top of their feed – when there’s something new, profile photos will have a colourful ring around them.

“Your story follows the privacy settings of your account,” Instagram explained.

“If you set your account to private, your story is visible only to your followers. However, you can also easily hide your entire story from anyone you don’t want to see it, even if they follow you.

“When watching your own story, swipe up to check out who’s seen each photo and video. You can even choose to feature a particular part of your story by posting it on your profile.

Instagram Stories will begin rolling out globally today on iOS and Android.

Ephemeral image by NeydtStock via Shutterstock

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years