The announcement that Instagram was adding a Snapchat-like "stories" feature is a big deal for most social media obsessives (and even laypeople like myself). But since our social circles are now so big and connected, it's totally understandable if someone wants to hide Instagram Stories from certain people, because, let's face it: Your long distance aunt doesn't need to see some of the stuff you're posting to Instagram. My shady friends, you are in luck. All one has to do when posting a "story" is just go to the settings option — that little gear icon — and select "Hide My Story From" and go to town. It's a lot like the feature Facebook offered years ago. Just use your social media instincts and you can pick and choose who can see your stuff.
It is kind of cool, since the feature allows you to block your stories on a case by case basis, as opposed to the Snapchat way, which makes you create another feed if you don't want everyone who follows you to see what you're up to. It's also a better way to post about that awesome afternoon you're having on a yacht (or just in your living room), without bombing all of your followers with the same old stuff. Because that is the problem with Instagram — it's all about that one-off moment, and they want users to do more than that.
Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom admits that they stole the idea from Snapchat. Because it was working. He told Tech Crunch, “They deserve all the credit. This isn’t about who invented something. This is about a format, and how you take it to a network and put your own spin on it." But a lot of users aren't feeling the new stories idea. Many wanted a chronological newsfeed, which users used to get. A recent update made the feed more like Facebook, with more popular, liked posts getting precedent when the whole point of Instagram was to see what people were doing right now, right then, take it or leave it.
The new Instagram Stories feature, indeed, feels eerily similar to Snapchat — and a lot of users don't see why it's even necessary. "I hardly even watch Snapchat stories, you think I'm watching your Instagram story? LMAO SIKE," one Twitter user wrote. While the intention is good, every social network serves its own purpose. Facebook is good for stalking old friends with babies and communicating with extended family, Twitter for news and snarky Bachelorette live-tweets. Snapchats for, well, Snapchat stories, and Instagram for a random feed of friends' lunch, brands, and parody accounts that post memes you can laugh about to yourself while taking a bathroom break. Is that not what everyone does?
No one ever likes change when it comes to the Internet. Instagram and Snapchat aficionados — chill out. At the end of the day, there was never much difference in the end game between the two social networks. Now they're even closer and everyone will just have that much more to scroll through when they're bored.