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Instagram Stories

Contributor(s): Matthew Haughn

Instagram Stories is a feature within the Instagram app where users can capture and post related images and video content in a slideshow format. Stories can be modified with the typical features of the popular social media app.

Launched in August 2016, Instagram Stories was initially criticized for being very similar to the My Story feature in Snapchat. In both apps, content is available for only 24 hours from the time of posting.  Stories allow the addition of text, drawings and emoticons to images or video clips. Like Snapchat, filters and augmented reality (AR) stickers are also available for Stories. The edited image and video content can then be to be displayed in an arranged sequence and show up in followers' feeds. Stories also offers skippable ads in between different users’ stories.

According to Instagram, Stories are made for friends and family to share more of their lives with those they are close with. The feature makes it possible for people to show more content without creating an excess of posts on their Instagram page. Companies can use the feature to promote their products or services in depth while maintaining a clean main Instagram page. The feature can also be useful to promote entertainment, allowing celebrities to have a more intimate, direct connection with their followers. Unlike Snapchat, users can start live videos on the app and later save the entire video to their Stories after it’s ended.

Users can adjust privacy settings for their Stories, choosing who and who can’t see their content. While Stories are automatically public, users can switch their profiles to private, which allows only approved followers to see their content. For additional privacy, users can select and filter which followers can see their Stories.

This was last updated in March 2018

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