After spending a bit of time with Instagram's new Stories feature, does it actually even hold a candle to Snapchat? Well, yeah… It kinda does.
Snapchat has quickly become one of the world's favorite social media platforms with nearly 150 million active users every day who spend their time sending 10-second videos of tongue-out puppy filters, face-swaps with pals, and their genitals to significant others.
Snapchat is so big in fact, that even Facebook tried to buy the company in 2013 for around 3 billion dollars (that's a lot of moolah, FYI).
Recently, another lil' social media powerhouse called Instagram has also offered a similar service: Instagram Stories, which people instantly pointed to and called BS, saying Instagram blatantly copied the almighty Snap.
Ever since Instagram introduced this new feature, people have been mocking it relentlessly. Some have pointed out that Instagram users only use Stories to broadcast their Snapchat name, while others have called it a lousy, no-filter knockoff that they wouldn't ever consider using — like a really bad, fake Louis Vuitton, where the LV's are actually just those little stickers you get on fruit at the grocery stores.
But while people are poo-pooing Instagram Stories, there are actually a number of features that not only make it fun to use, but also quite a bit better than Snapchat.
CUE THE DRAMATIC MUSIC.
1. One app = one love
It may seem silly, but being able to bounce around from quick, temporary posts to meaningful, artistic posts in one app is super duper handy!
Switching back and forth between apps can be a huge pain in the butt. Not only that, but copying content over from Snapchat to Instagram (and vice versa) can take up extra storage space on your phone and make sharing content twice as complicated.
Plus, when you share things from your camera roll in Instagram Stories, it looks organic and like you just took that photo or video. With Snapchat, you get that ugly border around posts pulled from your camera roll.
2. Hello simplicity
Sure, Snapchat is great if you want to try a billion different creative filters, play with voice changers, take drunken face-swaps with friends, and much, much more, but Instagram keeps it simple with their flattering filters and minimalist features.
Recently, Instagram has also introduced Boomerang to their stories, making GIF-able videos that repeat whimsically on your feed, giving a very Instagram-like aesthetic to the Stories feature.
Instagram Stories also has a number of super artsy, very VSCO-like filters to add to your photos and videos, including one that slightly brightens everything up, one that minimizes the color-contrast, one that adds a very slight turquoise tint, one that slightly desaturates that photo, a standard black and white filter, and an Instagram color themed filter that almost looks like a sheer gradient of their recently-altered logo.
3. Boomerang your way to my heart
As mentioned earlier, Instagram has recently allowed for Boomerangs to be shot and uploaded directly to your stories, which meant Boomerang addicts like myself collapsed in a pool of our own tears because ohmyGoooooodBoomerangistheBEEEEST. (For the record: Boomerangs are the best because they capture a quick little moment and loop it in a beautiful, continuous extravaganza that will dazzle your eyes.)
Now with Boomerang available for Instagram Stories, you don't even really need the app any more! Simply shoot your boomerang, add a filter, and save to your iPhone for later: it's as simple as that!
(Oh, and did we mention how much we love Boomerang? Cuz if ya don't know, now ya know.)
4. Doodle like Picasso
Okay okay okay: Before you say it, it's obvious that Instagram doesn't have as many color options for their doodles as Snapchat does. With Snapchat, you can alter how intense or muted a color is with simply swiping in the right direction. With Instagram, you get a fixed number of 21 different colors to play with and that's it.
However, there a few things that Instagram lets you do that Snapchat won't: One is changing the thickness of your lines, while another is changing the style of your lines (highlighter, pen, or magic pen). This means that you can really get detailed and super creative with your Instagram stories. If Picasso was alive, he'd be all, "WHAAAT? That's dope!"
5. More views? More views!
If you're someone who likes to Snap, Tweet, Facebook (whatever!) and doesn't care about views, followers, or Klout, then that's awesome! But in today's world, lots of other folks are on a constant lookout for more followers and influence, and social media is pretty much the key to doing it.
Of course, everyone is different — but because Instagram has been around for so much longer than Snapchat, chances are you probably have twice as many followers. By using Instagram Stories, you'll actually find that you're reaching a wider audience with your IG stories than your Snapchats. Don't believe us? Check out your numbers by tapping on your Instagram Story and swiping up, then check your Snapchat story: Which one has more views? Let us know in the comments below!
So what do you think? Will you start using Instagram Stories more, or stick to the one-and-only Snapchat?
Is there a place in this world for two temporary social media platforms? Honestly, I have no idea, but I would like to see them battle it out Ronda Rousey style in the ring.