Since it’s inception, Instagram has always been known as the place to share only the best photos and later on videos from your day with the world. But, it now wants you to share whole of your daily life with the world and to do so it has launched a new feature called ‘Stories’.

‘Instagram ‘Stories’ is the company’s new feature which allows you to capture your daily life/routine using your phone(obviously!), add text or funky stickers or emojis to the same and share it with your followers or with everyone. These stories will be available for anyone to view for a period of 24 hours and won’t appear on your profile grid or in feed. Now, all those reading this post who think there’s already a very popular app that does the same, please raise your hand.

I guess everyone of you raised your hand, because yes — we can all read and see that it is exactly(or almost) the same as Snapchat. It works exactly the same way. You have the option to post ephemeral photos and videos on your profile which disappear after a certain time. These streams of content won’t interfere or appear in your Instagram feed, but will be available for access at the top of it. The layout and design of the ‘Stories’ feed at the top is very much alike that of Snapchat, with profile picture in the middle, colored outlining ring and stuff.

You’ll be able to see stories from people you follow — be it your best friends to your favorite popular accounts, including Taylor Swift or Justin Bieber. And it’s very easy to view stories — you just tap on the profile photo of the person whose story you wish to watch. Instagram also extends the functionality to jump back and forward in a particular story or you can also swipe to jump to another person’s story.

Unlike regular Instagram, you do not have the option to like or heart a post. And there’s one small feature addition that makes it kinda stand out from Snapchat is private replies. In Instagram stories, you have the option to send a private message i.e a Direct Message(if you remember what that is) in response to an instant in the story. These replies are not public, as stated above.

Now if you’re worried about how private these Stories that you post are, then you should know that it all depends on the visibility settings of your profile. If you’ve set your account to private, your story is visible only to your followers. However, you can also easily hide your entire story from anyone you don’t want to see it, even if they follow you.

And since we know that it is almost a Snapchat clone, you should also know that it has a basic analytics feature built in as well. When watching your own story, you have to option to swipe up to see who has watched each of your photo and video. You can even choose to feature a particular part of your story by posting it on your profile.

This feature takes Instagram one step closer to becoming Snapchat. Enough rebuking, this feature makes Instagram a complete content sharing platform, and if this works as well as it sounds then people could ditch Snapchat and make a switch to this. But, the photo-sharing app which has tried hard to integrate private messaging into the app, still lacks those that are built into Snapchat. And take my word on it, they — audio and video calling — work flawlessly.

Instagram Stories will be rolling out globally over the next few weeks on iOS and Android.

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