Instagram takes on Snapchat with its very own Stories offering

Instagram is taking on Snapchat with it's very own version of Stories / Instagram

Instagram appears to have drawn some inspiration from one of Snapchat's most popular features, unveiling its very own ephemeral content service dubbed 'Instagram Stories'.

The Facebook-owned platform revealed the latest update to its app earlier today, saying the new feature had been designed to make it easier for users to capture and share their "daily moments".

Instagram Stories is not unlike Snapchat Stories in the sense that it allows users to share a chronological slideshow of videos and pictures with their friends on the platform. On both apps, these streams disappear after 24 hours.

Writing in a blog post, Instagram marketed Stories as a way to let friends know what you're up to without clogging up your own profile, saying that photos and videos posted using the feature won't appear in users grids or in feed.

Instead, a bar at the top of the app will let users view stories from people they follow by simply tapping on their profile photo. Instagrammers can also customise their pictures by drawing on them à la Snapchat.

By offering this service to its 300 million plus users, Instagram has the potential to focus on a new, more candid, approach to social media that Snapchat helped galvanize.

Snapchat prides itself on its rough and ready credentials, with millennials buying into the instantaneous 'no frills' aspect it offers compared to well-manicured rivals like Facebook and Instagram. Earlier this year the company's head of content Nick Bell told the Drum that Snapchat was all about "removing the pressure social media has created."

At the start of this year Instagram opened up its ad offering to all businesses big and small, a move that has paid off dividends for the social network with eMarketer forecasting that its sales this year are expected to triple to $1.5bn.

While Instagram Stories isn't yet wet behind the ears, Snapchat Stories recently announced plans to monitise by playing ads between the individual slideshows in its Stories feed. It's not yet clear whether Snapchat has any such intentions but opening it up in this way would give it another format to offer up to advertisers.

Instagram Stories will begin rolling out globally today (2 August) on iOS and Android.

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