Instagram follows Snapchat into local Stories
- Instagram, the photo sharing service with 700 million users worldwide, added a Location Stories feature to its Explore page to let people see what’s happening in a specific area, TechCrunch reported.
- The Location Stories comes two months after Snapchat launched a Stories Search to find posts by location or topic. Instagram declined to comment about Location Stories or whether it was following in Snapchat's trail, TechCrunch said.
- The location-based feature lets users see public posts from anyone at a specific spot. Those pictures may show how crowded an event is, what the weather is like or if there’s an emergency situation.
The full functionality of the Instagram Stories is still not entirely clear, but letting people browse content by location or topic may prolong the viewing times of mobile video. That could help Facebook to sell more advertising inside the Stories. Brand advertisers could also pay to serve up promotional material and information in their own Instagram Story.
Snapchat’s Stories Search, which was released at the end of March, allows viewers to watch Stories more than 24 hours after they’re posted. That content is public for any user to view because they voluntarily submitted the photo or video to the “Our Story” section. TechCrunch speculated that Instagram may add a full-fledged Stories Search feature to let people see aggregated content by hashtag, keyword and location.
The location search may set the stage for the next battle between Snapchat and Instagram to show off new features that can be monetized with advertising. Marketers that want to drive smartphone users to a specific location, whether it’s a store or event venue, would have greater flexibility to reach these audiences.