Instagram took a page out of the Snapchat handbook with its announcement of Instagram Stories, which consolidates all of the day’s posts for users.
In another nod to Snapchat, photos and videos that users include in their Instagram Stories disappear after 24 hours and don’t appear on their profiles or in the Instagram feed, and reactions and comments remain private.
Instagram said the new feature will roll out globally via iOS and Android starting Tuesday and over the next few weeks, and it described how Instagram Stories work in a blog post, also directing users to its Help Center:
You’ll see stories from people you follow in a bar at the top of your feed—from your best friends to your favorite popular accounts. When there’s something new to see, their profile photo will have a colorful ring around it.
To view someone’s story, just tap on their profile photo. It’s easy to view stories at your own pace: Tap to go back and forward or swipe to jump to another person’s story. If you want to comment on something you see, you can tap and send a private message to that person on Instagram Direct. Unlike regular posts, there are no likes or public comments.
Your story follows the privacy settings of your account. If you set your account to private, your story is visible only to your followers. However, you can also easily hide your entire story from anyone you don’t want to see it, even if they follow you. When watching your own story, swipe up to check out who’s seen each photo and video. You can even choose to feature a particular part of your story by posting it on your profile.
Instagram parent Facebook also tested a feature that resembled Snapchat Stories, Quick Updates, but the social network said it had no plans to roll that feature out.
Readers: What are your initial impressions of Instagram Stories?