Stories For The Masses
I’ve always had a strict mantra when it comes to my ideas: Execute them or someone else will, and they might not do it as well. Do I really want my ideas being implemented sub-par? No? Then get to work and make it happen!
Although, it’s possible that even if you do implement your idea, someone could take it and make it better, which is exactly what happened this month at Instagram, when it rolled out its own version of Stories. You’ll notice that Instagram has a new look: On your homepage, you can see users’ profile photos above the usual feed — if you tap on their photo, a video or image they shot will pop up. Instagram’s Stories feature is basically Snapchat but for Instagram. But while the two features are similar, Instagram has a larger user base — so it makes this feature available to more people.
Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom flat-out admitted that they copied Snapchat’s idea, pretty blatantly. (As detailed in a recent TechCrunch article, Systrom said, “They (Snapchat) deserve all the credit.”) That’s not something that usually happens in Silicon Valley, even though tech companies often repackage each other’s ideas. Openly admitting they took Snapchat’s format and implemented it (with improvements) across their app, Instagram has made itself relevant again overnight. It also opened a whole new world to the masses that proclaim, often proudly, “I don’t do Snapchat.”
Now the rest of the world gets to see what some of us have known for a couple years: Stories is the realness. With social media, there often is the larger-than-life, must-post-what-is-expected, outright fantastical imagery that may not necessarily represent the poster even a little bit.
If a user is using the Stories feature, you will either see their photo in a circle across the top of your feed, or you can tap to their profile and on their icon to see their world. If you want to post to your story all day, just click the circle with a plus-sign in the top left corner of your homepage. Hold down to make a video and tap to make a photo. Swipe left or right to change the filter, and you can use the drawing or text features to get more creative with the story you’re sharing. Some of us creative types like to go all out. Some of the selfie types like to show their face in various different filters or situations throughout the day. It’s up to you.
My take on this? There is a reason many of us have migrated to Snapchat and stayed there. I used to always say Facebook is for moms and bosses. Instagram has also taken that role more recently, and both have become places where I think very carefully about what I’m posting. Snapchat, however, still hasn’t been figured out by most grownups. I wrote about that in my very first column for SuperTech and it is what has helped me stay on track during my treatments.
The question is, if you can just post this content to Instagram now, where “everyone” is, why even use Snapchat anymore?
My answer is, Snapchat is still the realness. In a way similar to Vine, it’s created a user base that’s all its own. With Snapchat, there’s no reposts, like counts or re-dos. There’s also a whole other world of regular users. We’ve been there for a while, and we’re not ready to come out into the (un)real world.
CHRISTA WITTMIER IS “SUPERCW” ON ALL SOCIAL MEDIA. FIND HER ON SNAPCHAT, SOUNDCLOUD, TWITTER, VINE AND INSTAGRAM. BY NIGHT, SHE IS KNOWN AS DJ SUPERCW. BY DAY, SHE IS KNOWN AS SENIOR MARKETING DIRECTOR FOR YOUNG’S MARKET COMPANY OF HAWAII.