What Instagram Stories Taught Me About the Internet
By now you’ve probably noticed that Instagram rolled out it’s “Instagram Stories” update. Once it hit the internet had a mixed set of reactions and I did as well. Some loved it and eagerly hopped onto the latest social media craze, others shook their heads and stayed firmly put on Snapchat.
If you’re unfamiliar with the update then you might be wondering, “what the heck does this have to do with Snapchat?!” Everything my friend, EV-ER-Y-THINGGG.
To give a bit of background on the issues let’s rewind a bit. Not too long ago Facebook, who owns Instagram, tried to purchase Snapchat. That didn’t end up happening and in FB’s case, they thought “hey, if we can’t buy Snapchat we’ll just make Snapchat for ourselves.”
Fast forward to this week and Facebook/Instagram unveiled Instagram Stories. A near identical replica of Snapchat with a few minor differences and a couple major ones.
The whole thing took pretty much everyone by surprise and has honestly threw a wrench in my productivity this week. All I can do is watch the Insta Stories of the accounts I’m following. If you’ve been uploading Insta Stories or Insta Snaps . . . I’m not really sure what to call it and I follow you there is a good chance that you’ve noticed that I’ve seen every single one.
The spectacle of this whole thing is 85% of the draw. Watching the collective reactions from the internet and social media has been beyond entertaining. I’ll be sad when all the hype dies down but I might already be addicted by that point. We’ll see!
So, while creeping on other people’s brand new Instagram Stories and adding a few of my own stories to the mix I learned a few things. I’m excited to share these golden nuggets with you along with a few initial pros, cons and thoughts below!
The Internet Loves Drama
As I flicked through story after story pretty much everyone reacted in one of two ways:
- So is this the end of Snapchat?! I LOVE this! Now I don’t have to learn how to use Snapchat! This is so cool! Love the neon lettering!
- Isn’t this basically Snapchat minus the dog filter? Instagram you need a flower crown! #TeamSnapchat! Go follow me on Snapchat @xyz! I can’t possibly learn another social media thing! Love the neon lettering though.
You may have noticed the neon lettering is a hit across the board and I have to agree! The one major part of most reactions that I left out is that everyone seemed to think that Instagram, despite saying otherwise, basically killed Snapchat by doing this.
We’ll get into whether or not I think that’s the case later but it was clear that everyone felt the need to take sides. They either firmly loved the update and were ready to jump ship or they were frustrated on behalf of Snapchat.
The Internet Hates Change
Many people professed their love for Snapchat and declared their loyalty to the app. They made it clear that they put so much energy into that app and they couldn’t just abandon that now.
As a content creator, I can 100% see where they’re coming from. Still, a change like this to the social media landscape is exactly why having an email list is important.
Social changes. Your email list is yours forever. (Click to Tweet) If you’re not sure where to start on that check out some essential tips.
Despite their protests, I noticed most of these naysayers were posting several stories in a row. For someone who didn’t like something they sure were using it a lot. haha. Some of them ended up recanting their claims as the week progressed in favor of giving Instagram Stories a chance.
The moral of the story is that we might kick and scream when change comes but eventually, we’ll adjust and move on.
Instagram Stories Pros:
- Subtle filters. The filters available seem to be similar to the ones you can use if you’re posting a regular photo or video to your feed. If they’re separate I can’t tell the difference but they seem to have a softer, more elegant feel. Since the initial launch, they’ve added several standard and seasonal sticker options. Along with a feature to turn a photo into a sticker!
- User-friendly. Snapchat is not the easiest thing to figure out when you first start. The UI for Instagram Stories is more intuitive and the elements that could be confusing are clearly marked to avoid issues. (Ex. “Send Message” button instead of icons and clicks)
- In app. The fact that it’s within the Instagram app and no one has to download another app and switch back and forth is MAJOR.
Instagram Stories Cons:
- The Shade of it all. Instagram Stories is such a blatant Snapchat copy that you can’t help but throw a little side eye action over to Insta. The team at Insta gave kudos to Snapchat for basically coming up with the concept but it’s still a bit weird.
- No choice. Sort of. Initially, you couldn’t choose who’s stories showed up in your feed. If you followed someone’s feed then you also got their stories. Now you can mute certain stories but since there are so many stories happening all the time it can be difficult to get to the stories you want to see. Instagram tries to combat this by showing you the stories of accounts you interact with the most but their guesses aren’t always perfect. Regardless, you can block certain users from seeing your stories which is always a plus.
Food for Thought:
As a content creator, I am a bit nervous to jump into yet another aspect of social media. My Snapchat has been collecting dust for about a year because I spent more time checking in on the day to day of others than I was posting.
That could easily repeat itself here but I can’t deny that having it within the Instagram app is a major bonus for me. There are so many things I already have to do within the day.
Having one less app to open is not something to scoff at. Having a platform where I already have a following, where I don’t have to start from scratch is no small feat. It’s amazing!
Still, with that being said I don’t think that people have to choose and I don’t forsee Snapchat fading to black over this. I’m sure Snapchat HQ was pretty crazy when it launched but I’m positive that they’re cooking up something to keep themselves afloat.
If it wasn’t going to be Instagram Stories then there would have been another app or new craze to make Snapchat a little less enticing. (Click to Tweet) That’s the nature of the Internet. It happened with Facebook, it happened with Twitter, and it kind of happened with Instagram. Now it’s just Snapchat’s turn to either proves itself, or not.
What do you think about Instagram Stories? Are you #TeamSnapchat, #TeamInsta or are you just like who cares?