They say there are no more original ideas, and never has that felt more true than today. Announced today, Instagram has launched a new feature that lets users share photos and videos that disappear after 24 hours. If it sounds uncannily like Snapchat, that's probably because it is.
Rolling out globally over the next few weeks on iOS and Android devices, Instagram Stories is being sold as a way to relieve fears that you're posting on the app too much. According to a post on the company blog, the new feature "lets you share all the moments of your day, not just the ones you want to keep on your profile. As you share multiple photos and videos, they appear together in a slideshow format: your story."
Users will be able to view the stories of people they follow via a bar at the top of their feed, although they won't be able to like and comment on them (you can still send a private message letting someone know how #dope they look). And if you feel particularly attached to a photo in your story, you can change it to a regular post with the touch of a button. You'll also be able to hide stories from particular followers if you so choose.
As for the elephant in the room, Instagram hasn't shied away from the fact that they're copying one of their competitors. Asked by TechCrunch about the obvious similarities between Instagram Stories and Snapchat, Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom admitted that Snapchat deserved "all the credit," before going on to point out that tech companies borrow ideas all the time.
"When you are an innovator, that's awesome. Just like Instagram deserves all the credit for bringing filters to the forefront. This isn't about who invented something. This is about a format, and how you take it to a network and put your own spin on it," said Systrom. "Facebook invented feed, LinkedIn took on feed, Twitter took on feed, Instagram took on feed, and they all feel very different now and they serve very different purposes. But no one looks down at someone for adopting something that is so obviously great for presenting a certain type of information."
That may technically be true, but even by Silicon Valley standards, this is pretty bloody blatant.