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In the increasingly competitive social media market, Snapchat, Instagram and Facebook reign as the top three networks used by young people. With Snapchat rolling out new features on a pretty regular basis, Facebook-owned Instagram has been struggling to keep up on quite the same level. Cue the announcement of Instagram Stories. With fewer features than Snapchat Stories, but essentially a clone-copy, Instagram Stories allows users to post photo and video stories that disappear after 24 hours. Instagram co-founder and chief executive Kevin Systrom expressed interest in creating Instagram Stories to act as a place where users can post and share all their daily life moments that they might not deem “special” enough for their more curated Instagram feed and as something to take away the concern of spamming followers by posting multiple images in a row.

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While it’s seemingly a direct duplication of Snapchat with it’s shoot, decorate and share set-up, one leg up this feature might have is in the design. Instagram Stories appear directly at the top of the feed, meaning Instagram users who already have a large following but haven’t been able to build that same following on Snapchat will benefit, and in general it allows extremely easy access and viewability to audiences within the app for all users. While yes, Snapchat already exists in the same vein, this type of front and center exposure might be hard to pass up for many users looking to reach their audiences in different ways or interested in expanding their brands. By using Snapchat’s innovations as a launching point, Instagram – with a built-in older audience – just might be cornering the adult and young adult market in the same way Snapchat rules over the teen demographic.

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You might have to wait a bit to try out this feature for yourself, as Instagram Stories is rolling out for iOS and Android over the next few weeks, but once it’s here – let the social media battle begin.

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