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Instagram’s New Stories Are a Near-Perfect Copy of Snapchat

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There’s no other way to put it. Facebook has been getting “too inspired” from everything Snapchat does and it continues to quickly replicate the features on to its own services. The latest example of this can be seen on Instagram, the photo-sharing app Facebook owns, which on Tuesday introduced Instagram Stories.

Instagram Stories aims to let people share photos and videos that have a life span of no more than 24 hours with friends and people who follow them. It bears a striking resemblance to Snapchat Stories, a photo-sharing format where stories disappear after no more than 24 hours.

The Verge adds:It’s not the first time that Instagram or its parent company has taken a page from Snapchat’s product roadmap. In 2012 Facebook released Poke, an app for sending messages that disappeared after 10 seconds. It never gained much traction, and was shuttered in 2014.

Later that year Facebook released Slingshot, which required you to send a friend a photo of your own before you could see the photo they had sent you. It fizzled, too. In 2014 Instagram released Bolt, its own ephemeral messenger, which tried to build intimacy by limiting your network to 20 friends. But users stayed away, and Instagram later pulled Bolt from the App Store.

In a bold expansion designed to capture more of users’ everyday photos and videos, Instagram today introduced “stories,” a secondary feed of ephemeral content that is available for only 24 hours from the time of posting. The feature is nearly identical to the central feed in Snapchat, which is also called stories and which helped supercharge the company’s growth rate after it was introduced in 2013. Encouraging users to post more frequently — and more candidly — about their lives, Instagram’s introduction of stories could fundamentally change the nature of an app that has 300 million daily users.

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Stories, which rolls out today on Android and iOS, places a new row of circular avatars at the top of your Instagram feed. Each bubble represents an account that you follow on Instagram, and contains every photo and video clip (up to 10 seconds) that they’ve posted to their stories feed within the past day. (The avatars are displayed according to an algorithm that attempts to show your favorite accounts first.) Tap a bubble and their story will open in full screen, advancing automatically with a slick rotating cube effect. Unlike Snapchat, you can tap on the left-hand side of the screen to rewind the feed back to an earlier post.

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