“I promise I won’t post anything and everything.”
That’s what my Instagram bio reads. And I stand by it every time go on posting a new picture. It’s not like I oppose the users who generally treat Instagram as Facebook and publish everything they click, I just personally feel the need to be a little more creative. But this tendency to post only the best of my work has also resulted in other thousand pictures I take regularly eat dust in my gallery.
But things have been different lately. I still snap endless shots every day. I still only post the ones I truly think stand out on Instagram. However, the majority of the rest of them have a purpose now. A purpose that allows them to have their own place in my Instagram profile for a few moments without cluttering the feeds of everyone else. I’m, of course, talking about Instagram Stories which has now become my favorite social network feature.
You are probably already aware of the stories format. Originally introduced by Snapchat, it has spread like a wildfire in the past year or two with biggies like Facebook, WhatsApp, and even Google News bringing the ability to post stories on their platforms. If you’ve been living in a cave or something, with this feature, you can essentially stitch together multiple photos or videos which will disappear in a day.
The biggest highlight of stories, for me, is that they are not part of the primary feed and even your own profile. They live inside this little bubble minding their own business at the top (and sometimes randomly in the middle) of the feed and if someone wants to watch them, they are most welcome to. Otherwise, they can move on with their feed. Nothing you add to your story is permanent unless you explicitly configure it to be. Therefore, I’m able to put nearly all of my daily pictures on display without having to worry about violating my own rules.
Instagram Stories is also a lot more spontaneous and interactive, a refreshing getaway from the social media posts we are all used to. You can post roughly anything there like food pictures or complaint about the weather and not feel guilty. One of the key reasons for that is a plethora of fun options you have for making your stories pop and look more appealing. Unlike my permanent Instagram post which goes through an extensive editing phase, my stories are generally live the #nofilter life. You can add stickers including dynamic ones like the weather, GIFs (disabled temporarily), different type of texts, AR masks, Superzoom, or just doodle.
Instagram Stories are designed to present your life in an unfiltered manner and that’s what I love about it. You’re not worrying about likes, comments, hashtags, or how artistic your Instagram profile looks. It still pushes me to be a little more creative with all the available tools as I usually don’t post on Instagram every day.
You might be wondering why am I talking only about Instagram and not about all the gazillion other platforms which offer a similar feature. The reason this is not a generic stories appreciation post has nothing to do with the features set. It’s just that Instagram is a proper photo-sharing social network. In comparison, Snapchat is for messaging, Facebook is for businesses, WhatsApp is for wishing good morning to your entire contacts list, you get the idea. So I care about the content I post there and it’s not entirely random like I would have done if it were Snapchat. And the stories I post sometimes eventually lead to a permanent Instagram post, so it’s kinda like a quick behind-the-scenes peek too.
So, yeah, Instagram Stories is undoubtedly my favorite social network feature in years. It brings a natural element to the otherwise filtered platform and just enough tools to not feel overwhelming. The only thing now missing from Instagram is a better design. The Facebook-owned company has added way too many features in the last year which has led to a sort of a messy environment. Facebook did promise to bring a bunch of changes this year, hopefully, Instagram is part of that as well.