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Instagram takes on Snapchat with self-destruct Stories

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Photo sharing social network Instagram is taking on Snapchat with a new feature called Instagram Stories which allows users to post pictures and videos for 24 hours, the company said on its blog. It mentions that unlike regular posts, Instagram Stories will not allow users to comment publicly  and like photos and videos.

Instead, users will have send a private message if they want to comment about the photo. The feature will be rolling out globally over the next few weeks on iOS and Android.The video clips length can only be 10 seconds.

It is interesting to note that Instagram Stories is a near exact copy of Snapchat Stories where users can modify videos and photos through text and drawing tools. It allows users to see who has viewed the Stories and also block individual users from being able to access your story on that screen. If an account is private, only accounts users approve can see it.

The Verge points out that Stories can be promote it to the traditional Instagram feed by swiping up on it and tapping the share button.

Why is Instagram doing this: Facebook recently updated its algorithm which will place more importance to posts from friends and family rather than from content publishers. Basically, Facebook wants its users to post more about themselves and is extending the same to Instagram as well. The ephemeral nature of Stories will make users post more.

Between 2013 and 2015, the number of photos shared on average by each Instagram user fell, according to a report by The Information. Meanwhile, Snapchat’s users are watching 10 billion videos a day on the application, up from 8 billion in February, Bloomberg reported.

Change in newsfeed: In March, the company updated its photo feed to display best posts or content based on the likelihoods, interests, relationship with the user, and timeliness of posts, the company said in a blog post. It previously used to display posts in a chronological order. This means that posts with less interaction rates will be pushed down further—just like Facebook.

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