Snap continues to innovate; Instagram continues to copy

It's been less than a year since Instagram launched its clone of Snapchat Stories but Instagram's version of the feature has already eclipsed Snapchat in both size and scale.

Like Snap's service, Facebook's Stories disappear 24 hours after users post them.

Location Stories draws from content Instagram users post to their own Stories, with the app's location stickers determining which Story or Stories a photo or video may be added to.

So, if you are viewing a location or a trending hashtag you are interested in, you will not only find pictures about it in the Explore section but also stories. Snapchat will create a one-block geofence around your current location.

Instagram said Explore has over 100m daily visitors.

In order to create your custom story, simply tap the "Create Story" icon in the top right corner of the Stories page, give it a name, and then invite the friends you want to participate. Hashtag stories will be rolling out over the coming weeks, the platform said. No need to compete for the best Snap story anymore when you can now create custom stories on Snapchat. But in the realm of mobile-first apps, it's encouraging to see social networks attempting to become more of an extension of our social lives rather than a replacement.

Facebook has been accused of being a Snapchat copycat since releasing Stories on Instagram past year.

Meanwhile, Facebook-owned Instagram continues to unveil features that are very Snap-like in nature.

In a brief test of story search, I found it to be a fun way to teleport around the world and watch people goof off. Location Stories from nearby places (but not Hashtag Stories) will also appear featured in the Explore tab. The most recent, according to Business Insider, comes through location-based Stories.

  • Joe Gonzales