When I first heard of Instagram Stories, my initial reaction was a mix of disgust and disapproval.
The feature, which was unveiled by the Facebook-owned company August 2016, allows users to post content that disappear within 24 hours. It’s a blatant, unapologetic copy of Snapchat, the photo- and video-sharing app popular among Millennials and Gen Z, allowing users to post photos and videos to a slideshow story.
Remarkably, Instagram Stories isn’t just inspired by Snapchat—it’s an exact, pixel-by-pixel replica. As usual, the Twitterverse was quick to add its snarky commentary.
Even Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom admitted that Snapchat deserves all the credit for this new feature.
Shortly after grumbling about Instagram Stories, I decided to do what any Millennial would: give it a try. I found it easy to use; I’m a casual Snapchat user, so the way the feature worked felt very familiar (maybe too familiar?) right away.
To my surprise, I found myself starting to like Instagram Stories. Just like many people, my network on Instagram is a lot bigger than my network on Snapchat, so I’m getting more views and engagement out of Instagram Stories. And because I already open Instagram frequently, I’m also viewing other people’s Stories more frequently.