Instagram Stories is nothing like Instagram proper (and it should be)

over 6 years ago from , UX Designer

  • Instagram - Square photos
  • Instagram Stories - Portrait photos

  • Instagram - Filters you're use to

  • Instagram Stories - Different filters

  • Instagram - Can't add text and emojis on photos

  • Instagram Stories - Can add text and emojis on photos

  • Instagram - Can't draw on photos

  • Instagram Stories - Can draw on photos

  • Instagram - Photos from camera roll added via onscreen control

  • Instagram Stories - Photos from camera roll added via swipe gesture

Why have two completely different feature sets in the same product?

Edit: Didn't realize that Instagram Stories allowed adding from camera roll.


  • Account deleted over 6 years ago

    They are adding a feature that brings a sense of immediacy back to the product - similar to how it was founded. It has a couple key target demos:

    1. Users who will never use SnapChat. There are a ton of people that still think of SnapChat as the "sexting app". They are already avid IG users, but would NEVER use SC. This is a chance to give that type of experience to a significant user base under their own brand.

    2. Users who are over-anal about the quality of their feed on IG. These users (predominantly teens) need to manage too many apps - an app for a different occasion. Sure it needs refinement, but if IG can lure a percentage of users towards reducing the use of SC - and spending more time in IG - it's a solid win. These people already use both daily... so this is really just an attempt to grab a larger slice of app usage IMHO. The benefit to them is that they still can be silly and immediate - and still have that perfect glossy feed. They are pretty much letting them have their cake and eat it too.

    It is also important to note that it probably makes more sense to keep them kind of unique feeling. Die-hard IG users won't revolt with an accepted UX - many of them might not even use Stories. For the users that do adopt it - it's more of the SC user... and Stories is a more comfortable experience for them to engage with.

    It would not surprise me if in less than 12 months we see a major update - a UX overhaul based on how each of the product is used in the real world - to make a more seamless experience.

    10 points
  • Ryan Crabbe, over 6 years ago (edited over 6 years ago )

    Now you have listed it like that, I think all the new features in Instagram Stories would destroy your Instagram experience. Imagine scrolling through 10's of pictures with loads of text, emojis, red and yellow lines across.

    4 points
  • Taylor PalmerTaylor Palmer, over 6 years ago

    My first thought was, "Come on guys, think of your own product ideas."

    I still think that, but I realize that Instagram has a much more professional market than Snapchat does, and content creators and artists will have a much easier time getting people to watch their Instagram stories than following them on Snapchat.

    4 points
    • Drew AlbinsonDrew Albinson, over 6 years ago

      This is very true, I don't follow any brands/Companies/etc on Snapchat because it's too tedious and I like to keep it with friends, I welcome the feature and like that it's pretty subtle, even if it is a ripoff.

      0 points
  • Nick Matarese, over 6 years ago (edited over 6 years ago )

    IG Stories is the best product decision I've seen in years. Snapchat created a successful product with Stories. Instagram looked at their competitive landscape (saw Snapchat Stories success) and made a decision to build a feature for their existing photo product. Instagram already has a working ad platform and social graph to help make this feature even better. This is design/business school 101 executed perfectly.

    3 points
  • Brad McNallyBrad McNally, over 6 years ago (edited over 6 years ago )

    FWIW you can post a photo with any aspect ratio on Instagram

    3 points
  • Pedro PintoPedro Pinto, over 6 years ago

    I always saw the Snapchat experience as something more raw, natural, real and the Instagram experience as something more polished and plastic. And now IG is trying to bring that kind of Snapchat experience to their universe. Don't know if its going to work. I'm a big fan of the product vision behind Snapchat, they've done a great job developing new features in the last years.

    2 points
  • Account deleted over 6 years ago

    LOL at Casey Neistat's take in today's VLOG: https://youtu.be/6c_CpEfqa5Q?t=1m29s

    2 points
  • Thompson GeorgeThompson George, over 6 years ago

    I use IG to get away from most of this.

    1 point
  • Lucas LazaroLucas Lazaro, over 6 years ago

    I get your point, it feels right just because I'm a SC user, otherwise it lacks consistency within the app. On this interview to TechCrunh Kevin Systrom (CEO of Instagram) said "They deserve all the credit" when prompted about the similarities about the features.

    0 points
  • Duke CavinskiDuke Cavinski, over 6 years ago

    Yeah it's different, but I should hope there's still room within our products to play in the sandbox.

    0 points
  • Santi FoxSanti Fox, over 6 years ago

    "Instagram Stories - Can't add photos from my camera roll"

    This is incorrect. You can add photos from your camera roll just fine. Just swipe down on the screen to do so.

    (edit, after writing this I noticed someone already said this )


    I think the best of this is that it builds on top of an already built community, I have my following here and they're happy to see my daily content here. It's been a hastle getting people to add on Snapchat when even adding someone is sketchy and the whole app wants to be "Secretive". Sometimes the chats disappear when you're clicking around and if someone responds to your chat in Snapchat at a later time, it's hard to know what the hell they're responding to or talking about.

    So I give my full points to Instagram. Hoping they get more features like Snapchat like the GeoTags which I design for some of our projects at Creative Recreation. They're awesome and always loved them.

    So far I'm happy, however I follow a lot of photographer and people who push great content to begin with. So the content I see on the Stories is also relevant to my liking. If you follow a lot of dumb people that love using the dog filter and painting on their photos, then you're shit out of luck and get a dumb feed in the stories.

    And something to note... You don't actually need to watch them. So it shouldn't bother you as a IG user at all.

    0 points
  • Leury Hidalgo, over 6 years ago

    My thoughts exactly. Feels disconnected and clunky. I will most likely never use it as it distracts from the core experience that I'm use to.

    0 points
  • Mahdi FarraMahdi Farra, over 6 years ago

    Instagram Stories - Can't add photos from my camera roll

    Actually, you can upload anything taken in the last 24 hours.

    0 points