Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.
Facebook has been the DJ Khaled of the Social Media landscape for the past five years. It’s had the dopest shoes, the best looking women, and the fastest cars. If it ever came across someone with a better version of the aforementioned status symbols, it just threw one of those giant bags with an overly obvious dollar sign plastered on it right at their face. Problem solved. Facebook just struts down the street with its crew of Whatsapp, Oculos, and Instagram kissing babies and high-fiving everything around it.
Snapchat was a little bit younger, did things its own way, and a lot more in touch with what was popular. So Facebook did what just came natural and tossed 3 Billion gold plated Jordan 30’s at it. Snapchat just stepped right over them and kept walking. Being as cool as the other side of the pillow, it turned around, gave Facebook the ever timeless middle finger salute, and continued into the sunset.
Facebook was mad, really mad. So mad that they must have been blind with rage when they developed Slingshot and tried to pass that off than more than a wet hobo shoe. They stayed laser focused and brought the best minds together to present something completely different from anything we’ve ever seen before…
Let’s take a look at Instagram Stories.
Facebook has been trying to tap into Snapchat’s users since the beginning of existence itself, or 5 years ago, whichever seems more reasonable to you. During that time Instagram was acquired to hopefully push them forward in the world of personal imagery but Snapchat always had what anyone with a major brand loves. A young, impressionable user-base.
Realistically, the UX looks more refined and even if you have never touched Snapchat, you should be able to slide right into a groove with IG Stories. Like Snapchat, the stories which are images or video, are available for 24 hours and can be edited with text or you can get artistic with the 3 different marker tools that are available.
The list of recent stories from who you follow will run across the top of your screen and will have an Instagram colored circle to let you know there is some new content you have yet to view. If you swipe up on your own Stories, you can see how many of your followers have seen it and can adjust who can message you or respond to your Stories with the on-screen settings.
The Good. The Bad. The Ugly.
The way Instagram Stories feels is very smooth and will really work better for an older demographic. I’m not talking about 25–34 year olds because that’s been slowing growing on Snapchat, but the 35 and up crowd will find this easier to maneuver since they don't have to get used to an entirely new platform.
Some fine tuning could be done to help prioritize certain users or even be able to sort them into lists. As it is right now, if you're following 800 people and they are all posting Stories, you’re going to be finger painting the top of your screen left for 10 minutes trying to get through all of them.
There’s been a lot of marketers that have applauded the fact there is no hearts or comments on the Stories because it just adds another analytic to deal with. The truth of it is, Instagram and people in general are pretty vain. It’s essentially an app that just screams “Look at me and what I’m doing!!!” so there has to be some sort of payoff or satisfaction that someone not only saw your legs looking like hotdogs on the beach but also liked them and had the courtesy to drop you some water/surfer/sun emojis.
It’s still pretty new but I’ll give them a “B” for effort on this one. It’s gone far and beyond all the other dumpster fires they’ve tried to pass off as usable in the past.