Stop it with the stories


Kevin Long '21

They won’t mind if we copy their feature, right? We promise to make some changes.

As of late, it seems that every somewhat social network is releasing their own version of the popular stories format.

It all started when Snapchat popularized the format of posting these short 24 hour long updates that anyone could see. At this point, Snapchat was all the rage and their daily active users were soaring through the roof. It was during this period that Facebook tried unsuccessfully to buy Snapchat. Mark Zuckerberg was not happy and decided that if he couldn’t buy out his competition he would have to squash them.

Thus began Facebook’s phase of copying their competitors. One of the first targets was Snapchat and their increasingly popular stories format. Instagram (owned by Facebook), the more popular platform at the time, took the feature and built essentially the same thing as Snapchat. Users at the time complained that this was just an attempt to clone one of Snapchat’s most popular features.

Instagram co-founder and then CEO Kevin Systrom couldn’t agree more saying, “They deserve all the credit.” However, he claims that it isn’t about who came up with the idea, but the “format, and how you take it to a network and put your own spin on it.”

After the successful launch of Instagram stories it seems that every somewhat social platform decided that they should not miss out on the trend and do the same, adding essentially the same exact stories feature to their platform.

At this point, however, it is starting to become a little ridiculous and people seem to be realizing this after the recent launch of Twitter’s clone, fleets.

Fleets is essentially the same stories feature all over again, if you don’t know either platform really well, you will likely struggle to tell the two features apart. They are virtually the same feature although strangely there has not been very widespread adoption of Fleets yet.

It seems that Twitter users have rejected the format and very few accounts have used it since its launch. This is opposed to Instagram’s stories feature which accounts very frequently post on. Even accounts that carry across from one platform to another (have both Twitter and Instagram accounts) have largely ignored Twitter’s fleets while continuing to post pretty much non stop on Instagram’s stories.

After the initial launch of Twitter’s fleets I struggled even to find a single account I followed that was using the feature to showcase for the demo video. Whereas on Instagram, I had more accounts posting actively on their stories than I could count. I follow about the same number of people on both platforms (actually slightly more on Twitter). Maybe it will just take time for the feature to catch on but personally I think people are tired of seeing stories pop up everywhere and this recent example from Twitter’s launch is proof.