What’s New Copycat?
By: Antonio Nichols | @AntonioBNJR
The world of social media is pretty small, and for photo-based platforms such as Snapchat and Instagram, the world is even smaller. This being the case, many features that Instagram has been unveiling recently have been very similar to the features that have made Snapchat such a major success. Is this fair? Should Instagram be able to take features from a competitor and incorporate them their own platform without any consequences?
The latest features that Instagram has produced include a feature in which you can send direct messages which will disappear after the second time the recipient views it. There are no replays and you can edit the photo with doodles and messages. Sound familiar? With this addition to the Instagram Stories function that was previously added, there is virtually nothing separating the two platforms other than the Timeline-like structure of the main page on Instagram. Instagram sticks to the appropriation of its competitor’s features in its second new feature, Instagram Live.
Much like the direct disappearing message feature, Instagram Live also features components from Twitter’s Periscope. With a swipe left on the home screen of Instagram, users can go live and interact with those that are watching the live feed that they are broadcasting. Viewers can tap the screen repeatedly in order to make hearts appear on the screen, sometimes with their faces in the center of the heart. Another function of Instagram Live is the ability to use the ‘Explore’ tab to find new, interesting and exciting live feeds that are trending.
Instagram has had major success with being a social media platform that is capable of facilitating interactions while being strictly photo based. As time goes on, the platform has been able to innovate through incorporating different components such as messaging, videos, and now live streaming. With the features it is now incorporating being so similar to those on Snapchat and Periscope, Instagram now has to become different from and better than the platforms that have already been successful in using these features. Only time will tell if these new features will work out for Instagram.
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