Instagram has divided the nation once again. A few months ago they changed the algorithm which meant that your feed no longer displayed photos in order of time, thus our feeds began putting the most popular posts higher up. Instagramers everywhere were thoroughly pissed off. We didn't want to just see the celebrities and popular bloggers we follow, what about our actual friends who don't have a big following? People are still not happy with the change, but Instagram has stuck to its guns and not changed it back.
After all that drama, you'd think Instagram would have realised that users liked the app how it was and weren't asking for change. I mean, no one likes the new logo, seriously. It feels like Insta is having a middle-life identity crisis.
Arguably Instagram was the platform people used to put their best social content on, the most curated and aesthetically pleasing. We already have Facebook, Snapchat and Twitter to share more real-time real-life content on, Instagram was a form of escapism.
Instagram's introduction of Stories, which allows users to post photos and videos, that can be embellished with illustrations, which are only live for 24 hours. Sounds familiar, no? Instagram Stories aren't even being subtle, not only have they copied Snapchat's concept but the name as well.
It is all a lot of drama and pettiness. Instagram is basically saying a massive f*ck you to Facebook (which owns Snapchat).
Instagram is trying to compete with both Facebook and Snapchat, which may work temporarily but the longevity of it is flawed. Facebook will probably stick around for a long time, it isn't a fad or where the cool kids go, it's a staple social media platform we all use- mostly to keep up with friends/family we don't have on other networking sites. Whereas Snapchat is great because our generation can use it in peace without the fear of our family stalking it, plus the causal nature of it means that there isn't any commitment to the content we post- something great for a generation terrified by commitment. Instagram is loved because it wasn't as immediate as Facebook or Snapchat, it was thoughtful and curated. Stories were obviously going to do well, because Instagram has 300 million daily active users (compared to Snapchat's 150 million), but the more saturated it becomes by trying to compete with Facebook and Snapchat, the more its appeal will dwindle.
After a few days, the anger simmered and users jumped on the Stories hype. Mainly because no-one wants to be the last person jumping on a trend. I was one of those fickle users, after Tweeting a rage filled tweet (see in the gallery above) I then found myself uploading Stories on the weekend.
Why? Because after my initial anger that Instagram had so blatantly copied Snapchat I realised that the Stories were actually incredibly easy to use and do have a role in my social media presence. On face value it seems identical to Snapchat, and in regards to the content it almost is but it is different because of the platform. Most people use Snapchat to see their 'real' friend's lives, and the occasional celebrity. Whereas Instagram is a platform where people typically follow more users and strangers, therefore the reach is larger. Not great for privacy, but definitely good if you want to grow your presence.
So who is the winner of this debate? Well they both won and lost. Instagram lost by pissing off their users again but won because as usual, people get over change and adjust. It's a great new feature for teens, because a quick look at that age group's feeds shows that they usually only have a handful of images, which are all perfectly curated. They are constantly deleting images so that it doesn't look overcrowded, therefore Stories allows them to do this automatically but without the commitment of messing up their feed. Snapchat has lost because people will pick a platform, no one has time to upload identical content onto both. However, let's be honest, the filters on Snapchat will keep us coming back. That and the privacy of sending *private* snaps.
Basically, that new gold crown filter has saved Snapchat's ass.
Scroll our favourite Twitter reactions to Instagram Stories in the gallery above...
Photo Credit: Twitter, Pinterst
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