By Holly Snowdon
You may be aware of the latest developments in the world of Social media. As of yesterday (Tuesday the 2nd of August), Facebook-owned Instagram launched a new ‘Stories’ feature, which bears a remarkable likeness to the popular photo and video-sharing app, Snapchat. In fact, to say that they are similar would be an understatement, the features on the two apps are bordering on identical.
Snapchat provides users (particularly millennials) with an instant and entertaining way of communicating, using animal masks, personalized text and amusing voice modification technology to spice up their photos and videos that are then sent to friends and followers, which then rapidly disappear. According to CEO Evan Spiegel, Snapchat now shares a whopping 400 million snaps each day across the globe.
However, arguably just like Snapchat, the new Instagram Stories feature will enable users to post and share photos and short videos with their friends and followers, which will be visible for up to 24 hours before disappearing completely. Bearing in mind that Facebook tried (and failed) to acquire Snapchat in recent years, this is a bold move for the social media giant, and has the potential to have a significant impact on the social media landscape.
So have things gone too far?
Especially over the last year or so, ‘live casting’ has become increasingly more popular, as people across the globe are recording every moment of their day-to-day lives. When I say every moment, I mean every moment, from washing their face in the morning to capturing what food they’re eating at dinnertime. As a result of these popular social media platforms, people’s private lives are becoming less and less...private.
Similarly to Snapchat, Instagram’s Stories, is another platform encouraging people to expose their every movement, as opposed to exclusively capturing specific, special moments and selectively uploading them to their profile, perhaps making them miss out on what’s going on in real life, while instead, they constantly view it through a screen.
So has the invasion of social media into our private lives gone too far? Instagram’s CEO, Kevin Systrom, insists that is hasn’t. He argues that this new feature provides users with the opportunity to connect with people in various locations internationally, offering them a greater insight into unfamiliar cultures and societies, and thus breaking boundaries.
So the main questions are now: Will this new feature work for Instagram? Will Snapchat survive? Which direction is the world of social media likely to take next? Only time will tell!
So what do you think? Do you like the new app, and will this mean the end for Snapchat? We’d love to know your thoughts, tweet us at @MAXXDesign and see the online sentiment by following #InstagramStories