It is beyond doubt that Instagram has copied Snapchat. The new ‘Stories’ feature of Instagram is not just inspired from Snapchat or loosely based on Snapchat. It is a rip-off, blatant or not is for the users to judge... which the CEO of Instagram, Kevin Systrom, shocked the world and admitted.
“They (Snapchat) deserve all the credit.”
There’s a lot of hullaballoo about the plagiarism and one is not really sure if any lawsuit filed by Snapchat will dent Instagram. The intellectual property rights pertaining to user interfaces and such designs are a grey area.
For millions of users, Instagram’s ‘Stories’ offers a simple way to share photos that will go poof in twenty-four hours. Right from the purpose of the feature to how it works, everything that Instagram has done has been done by Snapchat. By many measures, Snapchat has been the leader in this feature but Instagram is poised to usurp that top spot, if experts are to be believed. Everything except for the changing faces filter. But wait a second - didn't Facebook recently acquire video filter app MSQRD? They sure did. Uh oh.
Let me quickly outline how ‘Stories’ is copied and how Instagram has tweaked the popular Snapchat feature:
- The positioning of the posts on top of the newsfeeds, the twenty-four hours capping for the photos to remain live, the endless posts that can be lined up and the entire process of creating the posts, uploading and browsing them are identical. You may wonder at times if you are on Snapchat or Instagram. But that will get sorted when you start using the ‘Stories’ feature on Instagram.
- Instagram’s Stories has a much better interface for storytelling than Snapchat. The latter is easy for the millennial generation to use. It is not so friendly for the aging populace. Instagram makes it utterly simple. Snapchat is opaque and can perplex many people, as it has me. Adding friends just confuses the rainbow out of me sometimes. Instagram offers hints from time to time so you know what you are doing, how to access specific sections or how to use certain features. The already simple interface is further simplified with contextual hints, buttons, and options spanning the interface. From the apt ‘Send Message’ to offering you a nifty browsing experience wherein you know exactly what you are looking at, which page you are on and you can navigate your way rather conveniently.
- In a way, Instagram has outmaneuvered and out-designed Snapchat. The fact that Instagram has a phenomenally large community makes ‘Stories’ all the more engaging. Snapchat has no community. It doesn’t really bring in that sense of belonging or correlation among users.