Instagram Stories is now more popular than the app it was designed to kill

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Say what you will about Facebook’s misguided implementation of Stories across its many apps and services. But in the one place it arguably matters the most, Instagram, the feature cloned direct from Snapchat continues to see massive success. Instagram Stories now has more than 200 million users per day, measured by someone either posting an update to their story or viewing a friend’s from the carousel at the top of the app.

That makes that singular feature of Instagram more popular than all of Snapchat, the app that popularized stories as a concept and Facebook’s mortal enemy in the war for teen mindshare. As of the fourth quarter of 2016, Snapchat had around 158 million daily active users. And not all of those users are making use of Snapchat’s own Stories feature; some could be sending good old-fashioned snaps or using the app’s messaging or calling features. That makes Instagram’s new milestone that much more impressive. It suggests a healthy percentage of the app’s more than 600 million users are spending time every day checking out Instagram Stories distinct from everything else they may be doing on the app.

Beyond boasting about its user base, Instagram does have a few new features it’s announcing today. The company is adding a new selfie sticker option that lets you turn one of your own self-portraits into a sticker you can then pin onto future photos. It effectively turns your own facial expression into a live emoji of sorts:

Photo: Instagram

Instagram is also adding four new cities to its Geostickers feature, which are sets of custom artwork that let you broadcast visually that you’re in a distinct location. The new cities include Chicago, London, Madrid, and Tokyo; the feature first launched early last month for users in Jakarta and New York City.

Again, like most of these additions, Geostickers was coped from Snapchat. But as we can see from the popularity of Instagram Stories and Facebook’s storied social network history, it’s not really about which company does it first. Because users don’t care about originality in an app’s product roadmap so much as they’re concerned how their friends are communicating — and which apps they’re communicating on.



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