Instagram has launched a new Stories feature that allows users to share content via a slideshow format that will only be available for 24 hours. The format is very similar to Snapchat Stories, and Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom has admitted that it was a huge inspiration and helped to make ephemeral messaging popular.
In an official blog post, Instagram said that the new feature would ensure that users wouldn’t be at risk of ‘photobombing’ their user news feeds, as they can now post as many images and videos as they want throughout a day without worrying. They will also be able to take advantage of additional features such as drawing tools and text.
During the time that it’s active, the format will feature at the top of the news feed, which is handy because content creators won’t have to build a new audience on a new site or mobile app. The short-term slideshow will then disappear from a user’s custom news feed after 24 hours. The feature should be popular with brands in particular, as they will able to post more relevant content for fans and followers.
Systrom said: “It basically solves a problem for all these people who want to take a ton of photos of an event or something in their lives, but want to manage what their profile looks like and not bomb feed, obviously, as that’s one of the no-nos on Instagram.”
The social media giant now has more than 500 million active users every month and 300 million daily activities. It also has 250 million people using its Direct message feature, but it wants to renew its focus on content and original sharing, as its figures were reportedly down by 15 per cent in this regard during the first few months of 2016.
Systrom added that Stories will allow users to be more spontaneous and in the moment because they no longer have to worry that videos and photos will remain on their profile forever. It will also provide a haven for content often deemed too silly or not “good enough.” The feature could certainly increase the number of users engaging with the site each day.