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Instagram, and then all of Facebook, famously and shamelessly copied the feature that made Snapchat stand out of the crowd: Stories. Now, Instagram is turning its attention toward the latest hot social media platform, TikTok, and has released its own take on it called Reels. The feature, which has been in testing since at least November and seeded to Brazil, is now available globally.
Not content to simply absorb all of Snapchat's features, Facebook-owned Instagram is now making a play for the music recommendation/performance demographic and aiming to become a hotspot for Live Q&As. The platform has introduced a feature into Stories (the ephemeral feed at the top of the app) that lets users request, receive, and jam out to song suggestions, as well as a new, more official format for Live Q&A sessions.
Instagram Stories let you send disappearing messages to your friends, but until now, you had to send them to all your friends. That's changing now, though, as Instagram has announced a new feature that lets you pare your audience for certain Stories down to just a select subset of your followers.
Following the rise of Snapchat, nearly every social media and messaging app introduced ways to share snippets of your day. These often include videos which are typically limited to a predetermined duration and expire after 24 hours. Instagram Stories were previously restricted to 15-second clips and those longer than this duration would be trimmed before sharing, but the company appears to be tweaking this cap.
Instagram is making it easier for users to buy the stuff they see brands post in Stories. The photo-sharing platform started testing the Shopping in Stories feature in June; as of today, it's available to businesses based in 46 countries. There's also a new Shopping channel prominently featured in Explore.
It seems like Instagram is in the news every other day. Highlights include its new Lite and IGTV apps, though there are several Instagramapp tweakssprinkled all throughout. Now, the Facebook-owned company has added the ability to ask questions in its Stories, a feature I'm surprised wasn't already there.
Weeks after its official end, it feels like winter is finally relenting, and Google seems to be getting into the vernal spirit: the company shared a number of spring-themed wallpapers on its Instagram Story yesterday, featuring its trademark color scheme in a variety of warm-weather scenes with the message "Happy Spring Screening." One of the screens in particular, featuring Google-colored ice pops, looks like it could be a tease for the full name of the upcoming Android P—but it almost certainly isn't.
Instagram has always allowed you to add previously-taken pictures and videos to your Story, but the app imposed one limitation - the media had to be less than 24 hours old. I honestly never noticed that, but it seems silly. Instagram now seems to think so too, and has removed that limit from the mobile apps.
Instagram added 'Stories' a while back, enabling users to post photos and short videos that only last 24 hours. Even though it's a direct clone of Snapchat's own Stories feature, there are more people using it than the collective userbase of Snapchat itself. So, it only makes sense that Instagram would continue to improve it, and now you can reply to Stories with photos and videos.
Instagram created a carbon copy of Snapchat stories last year, but now the company is making them far more discoverable. In a blog post, Instagram announced that Stories will now be accessible by location and hashtags.