Instagram launches Snapchat-style 'Stories' - how it works and when will I get it
Instagram has launched a new feature called Stories that strongly resembles Snapchat's section of the same name.
The latest addition to the picture sharing social network lets users create ephemeral slideshows of photos, short videos and Boomerang loops that last just 24 hours. It is designed to let Instagram users show their followers what is happening "behind the scenes" of their well-manicured feeds.
"With Instagram Stories, you don't have to worry about over-posting," said a spokesman for Instagram. "Stories lets you share all the moments of your day, not just the ones you want to keep on your profile."
Similar to Snapchat, the new section has a pen annotation tool, common Instagram filters and is only available in the mobile app.
Having uploaded a section of a story, users can choose to add it to their permanent feed or let it disappear after 24 hours. But the pictures won't completely vanish: just like Snapchat, Instagram will store the pictures and videos that make up Stories on its servers.
Instagram, which has seen its user rocket by 25 per cent to 500 million in the last year, has released a raft of new features recently, including an algorithm-based timeline and a new logo.
Social networks are known for copying one another's most popular features. Facebook introduced the feed with status updates and Twitter hashtags, both of which are now ubiquitous across platforms.
In an equivalent move, Snapchat last month introduced Memories, a gallery section in the app that automatically stores pictures, videos and stories for users to revisit and send later.
Where can I get Instagram Stories?
Stories will be available in the UK by tomorrow morning, but some users will have access to it from this afternoon. If you have automatic app updates enabled on your iOS or Android device it should install as soon as it's available. Otherwise you can check manually if the update is ready to download by going to App Store on iOS and Google Play Store on Android.
How to post an Instagram story
To add a photo or video to your story tap the + button in the top left hand corner of the app and choose or take a photo, 10 second video, Hyperlapse or Boomerang loop.
You can draw on the picture or video by taping the pen tool in the top right hand corner, and add different filters by swiping left. You can also type directly onto the photo or video then resize the text by zooming in and rotating it.
When sharing the story you can choose who will be able to see it. If you have your account set to private only your followers will be able to watch it, in the same way that the normal Instagram feed works. You can "hide" stories from certain followers, such as your parents or colleagues.
To see who has watched your story, tap "My Story" on the homepage and swipe up. It will show you who has watched each photo and video.
Finding other people's stories
Stories are found in a new bar across the top of the homepage in the Instagram app. Scroll horizontally to see who has posted a story. New stories will have a pink and yellow ring around them.
There is not yet a way to curate whose stories you see, but they will be ordered with the stories from the people you interact with most appearing first.
You can also watch someone you follow's story by going to their profile and tapping their profile picture if it has a coloured ring around it.
When watching someone's story you can navigate to the next clip or previous one by swiping left and right. You can't like or publicly comment on a story, but you can comment through a direct message by tapping the "Send Message" button in the bottom left hand corner.