Instagram has just announced a new feature called Instagram Stories. The new feature that rolls out today, will allow you to share a series of photos and videos which disappear 24 hours after posting.

You will notice the stories feature update by a new row of circular avatars at the top of your Instagram feed. Each circular avatar represents an account that you follow. Tap on an avatar and their story will open in full screen. The feature is quite like the app Snapchat, which developed and popularised stories. Unlike Snapchat, you can tap on the left-hand side of the screen to rewind the feed back to an earlier post. A ring around the avatar notifies you of an update.

There are no heart or comment functions to respond or react to stories. Instead, as on Snapchat you can reply to stories by messaging. The message will appear in the Instagram Direct mailbox. To see how engaging your story is, swipe up on your own story and you can see a list of who has viewed it.

There are some simple color filters, but so far there are no face filters, geofilters, fast/slow motion effects, or time stamps. (Instagram won’t say which of these features may be coming, but face filters seem to be high on the agenda).

It’s hard to argue with Instagram’s strategic decision to introduction the stories feature. The company is attempting to attract more users that are currently using Snapchat. There is a risk for Instagram that the new feature doesn’t get embraced as expected. Currently, stories feel like an add-on rather than a feature as it’s accessed from a different panel. Integrating stories into the ‘normal’ news feed would enhance user experience.

Despite this, the new feature will allow users to become more creative with the content that they share. Similarly, businesses will benefit with the new feature as is allows a new way to attract, engage and delight their audience. To check out the new feature you will need to update your Instagram app. If you want to see an example of what an Instagram story looks like follow @agiletransitions. We’ll be posting one today. Let us know what you think!




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