Facebook makes “first of many” improvements to Instagram Direct
Facebook has been positioning its photo-sharing site, Instagram, as a competitor for the younger end of the social media spectrum. To do so, it’s aped a few features from teen-favourite Snapchat, and it’s close to equaling – or maybe even supplanting – the latter with Millennials and Generation Z. To help it pull out ahead, Facebook has scheduled a number of improvements to Instagram for 2017. And the first one has just been made: you can now share disappearing stories and videos in the same space you share permanent ones.
Facebook’s share price is up 22%, year-to-date
SOURCE: Yahoo Finance
Instagram began letting users share disappearing photos and videos in its messenger service, Direct, last November. The move was a clear nod towards the popularity of Snapchat – a platform, originally, built entirely around this feature, which remains teenagers’ social media of choice. But according to recent surveys of Generation Z preferences, Instagram has closed the gap, and is now just a percentage point or two behind its rival – the two of them nearly neck-and-neck, outpacing Facebook and Twitter use amongst teens by a significant stretch.
In its latest tweak to Instagram, Facebook has looked to integrate these ephemeral messages further into the site’s messenger service. Now, there is no separate space in which your disappearing messages hide – they sit right in Direct with everything else. Until, of course, they don’t.
Disappearing photos and videos aren’t the only feature that Facebook is looking to adopt and improve upon from Snapchat. At the end of March, it added its own Stories feature, letting users share multiple videos and images as a “visual collection” atop their newsfeeds, with a 24-hour lifecycle. Instagram, the company’s targeted Snapchat-slayer, got a Stories feature far earlier, of course: August 2016.
According to Instagram, this is just the first update of the year. Direct has “many improvements” left in store for it over the next 8 months.
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