Today, just five years after the launch of Snapchat we get reintroduced to the popular app that was once only known for dick pics and private pre-teen conversations. Except this intro came via Instagram. Let me tell you, Instagram kinda bodies Snapchat. And I spent most of my day reading and watching ridiculously funny stories about Instagram’s new update, affectionately titled Instagram Stories: which is merely an imitation of Snapchat.
In case you missed it this morning and have yet to receive the update and explore, here’s a peak at all the digital fuss:
At first glance, this new feature looks cluttered AF. I’ve determined it’s mainly because our minds are so over change and it’s also a little cluttered AF. But before you fall in or out of love with either Snapchat or Instagram here’s a quick tutorial plus a few things you should know about the ups and downs of both platforms.
how to use it:
Once you’ve updated Instagram you should see a bunch of profile circles at the top of your timeline (keep in mind, this is my observation via my iPhone 6S… IDK what y’all Android phones look like). This is your Instagram Stories!
There is a “plus” symbol just above your profile circle that allows you to add your story (and just like Snapchat you can re watch your own story a trillion times if you like by clicking on your profile pic). You can record, take a picture or swipe down to upload pictures or videos from your camera roll.
To watch the Instagram stories you can either click the first circle to start playing all the stories in your feed or you can scroll across to find your favorites (this is what I do). Because while I follow and love all my Innanet frans, all of them don’t need to be pushing the record button and talking non stop.
You can also go to anyone’s Instagram account and if they have a story that is public you can click on their profile circle to start their story. All profile circles that have recent stories will be highlighted.
That number there (read: 1762) is the total number of people who have watched your stories so far. While you’re watching InstaSnap (I just renamed it) you have a few options on how to control the story. You can tap the middle of the screen to advance to the next frame (if you tap to the left of the screen it will take you back to the beginning and repeat that person’s story or it can take you back to the previous person). Swipe right to skip to the next person’s stories, or you can swipe down to go back to the feed.
If you actually click on that number at the bottom of your story you will be able to see every account that has watched your stories. But unlike Snapchat, it gives you every name not just the first few hundred. Also unlike Snapchat YOU CANNOT SEE IF SOMEONE SCREENSHOTS your sh*t. If you click on the settings (this is circle of sun in the top left hand corner) it will take you here:
I am still testing this theory but in some cases you don’t have to follow a person to be able to see their stories. Meaning everyone in the entire world of Gram can view your story. I was able to view Tyrese’s dumb a$$ story without following his corny ass. But when I clicked on a random influencer at the suggestion of someone else I had to follow her in order to watch her story.
You can also block certain accounts and you can disable your comments, aka your DMs. My DMs were popping until I switched this off.
You can also download your InstaSnaps to your Instagram feed. Here’s where you crop the video and add more filters.
And there it looks like the old Instagram again!
So what are the pros to Instagram Stories:
If you’re an influencer your story is WAY more visible on Instagram.
I posted 6 Instasnaps. My views on Instagram in one hour were equal to what would normally take a 24 hour period on Snapchat. There are nearly 500 million users on Instagram compared to the 100 million on Snapchat. This feature will create an even deeper gap between the two platforms. Depending on your audience most will more than likely already be on Instagram and Facebook. If you have a huge following on Instagram, it makes way more sense to be on InstaSnap than to encourage those users to download another app. And Snapchat is still struggling to gain the downloads of people who are over 21.
There are more characters to type plus a cooler/doper base font.
There’s some glowy text and a brush stroke text, girl there’s a lot of cute options to cure your inner Basquiat. Just like Snapchat you can swipe left or right after you record to add a filter. I’ll admit the filter are mad basic sidechick however it’s a start. There’s a rumor about Snapchat having a patent on the filters and such but I didn’t find anything to support that.
Another important thing and this could be all in our heads but it feels like InstaSnaps gives us a little more time to record. This could just be because it’s so new, IDK. My voice is Snapchat-trained to squeeze all my words in within that damn 10 seconds but child, it feels like a cool 20 seconds on these Instagram stories.
Now here’s the cons:
SO… There’s no front facing flash for videos.
Gasp! Gone are your late night car karaoke Snapchats because IG only has front flash for your pictures. You could get creative and have someone record you at night but that’s a little thirsty so whatevers!
I won’t need to actually threaten folks to stop screenshotting my sh*t (why oh why do you guys need to do this in the first place?) because there is no monitoring system in place for whose taking screenshots on your Instagram stories at the moment.
All your DMs are in one place. Both from your image feed and your InstaSnap. That can be annoying for some of you guys. Since you are now more visible everybody will reach out with little silly emojis such. Remember to switch your settings so that you are not instantly annoyed. The good thing about this is that those DMs do not disappear (like Snapbacks) so you won’t miss a message from someone because you opened or closed your screen to fast.
So what do you think of InstaSnaps, I mean Instagram Stories. Keep in mind it’s just day one for them. While we don’t have doggie filters or the ugly lady faces my Facebook connect (AYE) assures me they are still rolling out new features. But here’s a point someone mentioned to me. Y’all remember Vine right? That is until Instagram created 17 second videos, which was 2 seconds more than Vine and just enough for IG to totally Myspace Vine and now it’s a distant memory for most of us.
We’ll be praying for you Snapchat. But don’t worry since I am a true social media strategist, I’ll be using all these platforms (wipes forehead) and curating unique content across the board (I think).
Let me know if you have suggestions on how I can use
InstaSnap Instagram Stories.
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