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The feature is set to roll out worldwide for iOS and Android in the coming weeks, with highly followed celebs like Serena Williams, PewDiePie, Ciara, Kevin Hart,Calvin Harris, Demi Lovato, Nick Jonas, King Bach, and Connor Franta signed on to use the feature at launch.
That way, the company hopes, fans who follow the stars will see the feature in their feed as soon as it’s live, and hopefully feel inspired to try it out.
Users will be able to post temporary photo and video slideshows that disappear after 24 hours, with the added bonus of their story appearing at the top of the app’s traditional feed. Users won’t have to build a new audience, either—they’ll just be serving a new type of content to their already-existing follower base.
Instagram has no qualms about admitting it’s mimicking the competition. CEO Kevin Systrom told TechCrunch that “[Snapchat] deserve[s] all the credit.” But added, “This isn’t about who invented something. This is about a format, and how you take it to a network and put your own spin on it.”
Like on Snapchat, users will be able to customize their photos with drawing, emoji stamps, text, and swipable filters. Plus, they’ll be able to see who’s viewed their story. Unlike on Snapchat, you don’t necessarily need to be following someone to watch their Instagram Story—if their stories are public, they can be viewed by anyone.
Christine Friar is a writer and editor in New York who focuses on streaming entertainment and internet culture. Her work has appeared in the Awl, the Fader, New York Magazine, Paper Magazine, Vogue, Elle, and more.