According to the company, “Instagram Stories” adds a user’s updates over a 24-hour period, including photos and videos, to a “story” that is posted on user feeds non-chronologically. Whenever users add an update, a coloured ring appears around their profile photo, and finished stories are deleted every 24 hours.
“With Instagram Stories, you don’t have to worry about overposting,” the company wrote in an August 2 blog post. “Instead, you can share as much as you want throughout the day — with as much creativity as you want.”
If the new feature sounds a lot like rival Snapchat’s own “Stories” – or Facebook’s Slideshow – well, you’re not the first person to make that connection, with several less-than-enthused users aiming their displeasure at Instagram’s Twitter account.
@instagram Snapchat much? Can I disable this feature? This is gross, I don’t want it.
— Chris Pugh (@chrispugh) August 2, 2016
@instagram this is already a thing and it's called snapchat.
— e (@nothissavior) August 2, 2016
— Sébastien (@sebahstien) August 2, 2016
For businesses brave enough to wade in, however, the new feature sounds relatively intuitive: all users need do is tap the circled plus symbol in the top left corner of their screen, shoot an image or record a video, and tap a circled checkmark to add it to their story.
To a view a story, users can tap on a profile photo, tap again to go backwards, forward, or send a message; or swipe to jump to someone else’s story. Unlike traditional Instagram posts, users cannot “like” or leave public comments on a story.
Stories are shared based on a user’s privacy settings: if your account is private, your story is visible only to followers. It can also be hidden from specific followers, and users can choose to highlight a particular update by posting it on their profile.
According to Instagram, Stories will be rolling out globally “over the next few weeks” on iOS and Android, and does not appear to have been released in Canada yet. For more information, check out the help section of the company’s website.