Once again, Facebook-owned photo-sharing platform Instagram has mimicked a feature of rival service Snapchat.
This week, the company launched its first geostickers for its Stories feature, which allows users to add an array of illustrations and animations to their storyboard posts relating to their current location. The introduction of this feature shows that it is continuing its efforts to compete with Snapchat.
Instagram announced the introduction of its geostickers via a blog post on Tuesday morning stating that this is an early version of the stickers and that they are currently only available in two cities – Jakarta and New York. It hopes to bring in a wider variety of locations in the near future and tells users to “keep an eye out” for more stickers. Users are able to access them on both Android and iOS versions of the app, with the latest update.
To add these stickers to a story, users simply capture the image they wish to use and then click on the sticker icon, located in the top right hand corner of the screen, alongside the options to add text and drawings. Users can add as many stickers as they see fit, and also have the option of resizing and rearranging them.
Instagram’s rival Snapchat first introduced a set of geofilters to its platform back in 2014. However, unlike those on Instagram, these cannot be resized or rearranged. It also added geostickers in August last year, giving users more customisation over these location-based creativity tools.
Instagram owner and social media giant Facebook has long had its eye on Snapchat, but after a failed bid to purchase the popular photo-messaging app back in 2013, it altered its goals to overhaul the app instead. This has led the company to launch at least 16 different methods to do so, including Snapchat clones and company acquisition attempts, but so far, none of this has been successful.
Instagram may well be the key to Facebook’s success in its pursuit of Snapchat, as its Stories feature, which also mimics Snapchat, has already accrued 150 million users on a daily basis, which is a higher number than Snapchat.
The introduction of Snapchat features to Instagram has seen the platform, originally a photo-sharing tool, significantly close the gap between the two services, and since the introduction of Instagram Stories last summer, Snapchat’s growth has plummeted 82%. No doubt this statistic will be worrying to Snapchat, but encouraging for Instagram and Facebook.