We're all guilty of a little social media stalking now and again. Or ... every day. Who's keeping track? Everyone secretly wants to know what their ex/arch nemesis is doing for the weekend via Snapchat or Instagram Stories.
I don't think curiosity killed the proverbial cat; it just ensured she was more informed about the mouse's activities. So, if you're a nosy individual like me, there's some good news because Instagram is now testing Location Stickers.
This means you can see what random people are up to and where they are. A user's specific location sticker will be tagged alongside a slew of other posters who have visited the same place. Users can then visit that business/company's Instagram page and watch a slideshow Story from strangers you've never met.
Instagram's previous Location pages showed transitory tagged posts but now it has a full-blown location story feature. Clearly, the company is utilizing its permanent content, which gives it a distinct advantage over Snapchat.
The closest Evan Spiegel's company have come to this is testing a Stories Search option, a real-time database which shows what's going on everywhere and anywhere. In doing so, Snapchat ensured that some user content is no longer limited to 24 hours, which I thought, was the entire point of the app.
Instagram's VP of Product Kevin Weil more or less confirmed that this new feature was being tested (and was heavily influenced by Spiegel's brainchild) this week:
If we're being honest with ourselves, this is the way the tech industry works and frankly, it's how all industries work. Good ideas start in one place, and they spread across the entire industry. Kudos to Snapchat for being the first to Stories, but it's a format and it's going to be adopted widely across a lot of different platforms.
... Adopted, and improved, as evidenced by Instagram's latest feature. Another innovation exhibited by the social network were hashtag stickers, which could potentially lead to Hashtag Stories?
Location Stories present a prime opportunity for user creativity and also generating revenue for Instagram via strategic ad placement and story curation. However, offensive content is going to pose a problem when you're exposed to strangers' posts.
This isn't good news for Snapchat, which is already floundering due to decreasing downloads, among other problems.
Coupled with the advent of AR selfies on Instagram, the Facebook-owned photo platform has basically duplicated all of Snapchat's best features. So, what's the point in Snapchat's continued existence when Instagram has all the goods and more? Only time will tell.