Kids these days and their InstaSnaps and their ChatGrams. Get off my lawn!
I’m just kidding. You can stay on my lawn.
But technology moves fast, and keeping up can eventually get overwhelming. Every person comes to a point in their life (some sooner than others) when they no longer get on board with every new app. Maybe you feel like apps come along every day, and you can afford to miss a few. Maybe you want to wait and see which ones are still around in a year, and then you’ll get on board. And then BAM! Overnight, you become the “old man yells at cloud” headline from the Simpsons.
For me, that app was Snapchat. I had too many social media accounts and was not about to sign up for another. Getting left behind by Snapchat made me feel out of the loop though, so Instagram Stories introduced a nice compromise: a new use for a familiar platform.
I’m not the only one who feels that way: Instagram seems to have taken a sizable chunk of Snapchat’s demographic: According to Business Insider, Instagram Stories reported 250 million daily uses in June, versus 166 million daily uses for Snapchat last quarter.
Some features I enjoy:
Boomerang lets you make a gif (short video on a continuous loop).
Rewind plays your gif in reverse.
Selfie Stickers lets you make stickers with your own face. Meaning you aren’t limited to a preset selection of stickers or emojis. The sky (or your face) is the limit!
My friends are all on Instagram. Only a few are on SnapChat. Social media is only as good as your network.
Story settings allow you to choose who gets to see your stories, even among your friends.
Visit this how-to from the Verge to get the most out of Instagram Stories.
Wait a minute: why would I want to post something that disappears?
Snaps and Instagram Stories disappear within 24 hours (although you can pin them to your profile if you want to keep them up). This might seem shady, like it’s only meant for illicit material—but a pic doesn’t have to be dirty need an expiration date.
Oversharing on the internet is a major issue, and setting some of your content to eventually expire could be safer than having everything you ever posted up forever. Of course, someone could still screenshot whatever you post, but the window for that is much shorter.
So if you’ve become an old person overnight, don’t fret. Instagram has become a two-for-one social media platform with the kind of easy-to-use interface and fun features that make it perfect for everyone.
Do you like Instagram stories, or do you prefer Snapchat? What are your favorite features of each, and why? Tweet at me!