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Instagram Introduces Disappearing Stories

No more fear of ‘overposting’

August 3, 2016 | Social Media

Instagram appears to be taking a page—or perhaps a picture—out of Snapchat’s playbook, with disappearing messages called Instagram Stories.

US Instagram Users and Penetration, 2014-2020 (millions, % change and % of population)

Instagram announced Stories on its blog, explaining that users would not have to worry about “overposting” by sharing too many moments from their day: The photos and videos shared via Stories will disappear after 24 hours.

Such vanishing messages recall Snapchat, another photo- and video-sharing social network that appeals to even younger users than does Instagram.

“The temporary nature of Stories—on Snapchat and now Instagram—is just part of their appeal,” said eMarketer senior analyst Cathy Boyle. “The way the short video clips and images are strung together chronologically over the course of a day allows users to step into the lives of their friends, a few seconds at a time. The visual and near-real-time nature of Stories makes it a compelling way for friends to connect, not to mention another way for advertisers to engage mobile users.”

eMarketer estimated earlier this year that nearly 90 million people in the US would use Instagram on a monthly basis this year, up 15.1% over 2015. This user base is relatively young, with nearly two-thirds under age 35, including 39.5% under age 25.

Snapchat, meanwhile, will have 58.6 million monthly users this year, eMarketer forecast in June, 58.4% of whom will be under 25. Another 27.0% are in the 25-to-34 age group, for a total of 85.4% of users under 35.

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