Instagram Announce Location and Hashtag Stories

Instagram Blog
By now we're all familiar with Instagram's Story feature, and how it awkwardly beat Snapchat at it's own game, and as expected, both apps are bringing updates to set themselves apart from each other. Instagram stories are where you add photos, videos or artsy Boomerangs to your own personal reel, available to view for 24 hours, with a pen tool, location and time tags as well as fun stickers. They've now expanded the Story feature to introduce Hashtag and Location Stories through Story Search, announced last week.

The whole idea of hashtag and location Stories is to "help you find stories related to your interests." as Instagram's blog says in a post announcing the new features. For example if you want to know what's going on in the rest if your city, search for your location on Explore and view the story. Or for hashtag Stories, search for a hashtag of interest and you'll find other's posts who've also used that hashtag; find fellow #foodies for cooking or baking inspiration etc. etc.

As well as viewing location or hashtag stories, you can of course add select to them by putting location or hashtag stickers onto your photo, video or Boomerang. Instagram's blog post continues in explaining that "If your story is added, you’ll see a line at the top of your stories viewer list showing how many people saw it in the larger story." making you feel a little famous if thousands of people view it, pretty cool huh?

Privacy options are obviously added too; you can opt out too if you'd rather keep your Story for your followers only, you can click the X next to the relevant story on your Story viewer list, as shown below.

Instagram Blog

While Hashtag Stories seems pretty unique, Location stories is comparable to Snapchat's Geotag filters, Live Stories and Our Stories; curated Stories by a number of users showcasing current events around the world or in certain locations, depending what kind of thing is featured.

This is raising thoughts of the on-going copy-cat nature of the platforms, recognizing the tweaked replica's of features - it leads me to think all apps will be the same soon, and social media users will end up using just one of them - the last standing; kind of like the Hunger Games...

Location Stories are available now on iOS and Android on the 10.22 version of Instagram, and Hashtag Stories are said to roll out onto the platform in the coming weeks. What are your thoughts on the new feature?

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