Instagram clones Snapchat with ‘Stories’

Snapchat overtakes Twitter in user base
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Instagram Stories vs Snapchat
Instagram now lets users post video stories complete with captions and doodles similar to Snapchat. blog.instagram.com

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg was the first to show the social media world how to use Instagram’s newest feature, Stories, in a bid to compete with popular image messaging app Snapchat.

In a 35-second video on Wednesday, Zuckerberg showed his Instagram followers how his morning routine looks like. The 32-year-old startup icon is known to wear gray t-shirts every day.

Zuckerberg said Stories is Instagram’s latest step in improving video-sharing on social media

“Stories let you share a series of videos or photos -- and have them disappear after 24 hours. You'll see stories from the people you follow at the top of your feed, and a ring around their profile picture tells you when their story has been updated,” Zuckerberg said.

“This is the latest step in putting video at the center of all our services. People are already creating and sharing more video, so we're going to make it even easier,” he added.

Like Snapchat, Stories lets Instagram users add doodles on their photos or videos, which they can broadcast for 24 hours. Users can also monitor who viewed their stories or adjust the privacy settings for each post.

Snapchat vs Instagram

But users need to update their Instagram apps first before they can use Stories. Instagram is set to rollout Stories globally in the coming weeks on iOS and Android.

To recall, Facebook bought Instagram for US$1 billion (AU$1.3 billion) in April 2012. As of last month, Zuckerberg said Instagram caters to 500 million active users monthly, or 300 million users daily. Meanwhile, Facebook boasts of 1.7 billion active users monthly as Facebook Messenger caters to 1 billion active users, and Whatsapp has another 1 billion.

For its part, Snapchat has 150 million active users per day, according to Bloomberg. This user base eclipses that of micro-blogging site Twitter, which has less than 140 million users interacting daily. According to Twitter, it has 310 million monthly active users.

Snapchat’s photo-manipulation tools let users swap faces in a photo, and transform themselves into puppies, among others. A number of politicians and celebrities use social media to reach out to their followers and even assail their critics.