Maybe we should’ve seen this coming after Instagram changed its logo to that ugly-as-shit sherbet monstrosity, but this is a new low.
If you don’t already know, Instagram has updated with a new feature: Instagram Stories.
Hmm. Sounds awfully familiar. Wait, did Instagram swallow and steal Snapchat’s thunder, like the mischievous little pink Kirby it is? Just to make sure I wasn’t jumping to conclusions, I made a picture for my Instagram story (that I never posted).
Oh, wow. What an intuitive format. Probably because it’s BASICALLY IDENTICAL TO SNAPCHAT’S.
So I’ll admit I’m not an avid fan of Instagram in the first place. I adore throwing tons of filters onto my photos, but only for those five minutes of pretending to be a pro photographer. I check my feed mostly for my best friends and favorite celebrities. Otherwise, I kind of detest the concept of Instagram: posting altered pics to portray your life attractively. It’s fun to do that, as an individual, but collectively it creates a warped reality. Other social media outlets do, too, but I can’t think of a single one that is quite as perfectionist and superficial as Insta.
But then there’s the holy grail — my fave — that rises above all the posturing: Snapchat.
Say what you will about Snapchat’s…seedy beginnings, but its format has changed social media. For the better, in my opinion. The temporary nature of its content has removed the prior pressure to seem perfect: if you’re bare-faced in your story, well, at least it’s only 10 seconds long and will vanish in 24 hours anyway. And who cares? Your friends on Snapchat are your actual friends, not those scary acquaintances from Facebook and Instagram. Because there’s no pressure to have tons of followers, unless you’re a celeb perhaps. And so, Snapchat encourages you to be as silly and earthy as possible. Sure, you probably won’t snap your worst moments (though some do with gusto), but in terms of pressure to look good, Snapchat is Instagram’s antithesis. That is why Instagram Stories will be hokey and ineffective.
Instagram, I admire your effort to be more like your competitor, Snapchat. The online world needs more shamelessly personal content like Snapchat’s. However, you aren’t the platform to do it. For years your claim to fame was heavily-filtered photos of vacations and #OOTDs and couple collages. We’ve been collecting hundreds, thousands of randos and acquaintances as followers just so we could show off the photogenic sides of our lives. Now you want us to show them what we would normally put on Snapchat?? You think we would bear to let our thirst follows see that with their own eyes???
The “everyday moments” you insist that we share will PALE in comparison to the milestone photos that we spent twenty minutes finding the right amount of “Lux” for, whatever the fuck that is. You made your bed; it’s about artsy #blessed photos, and you gotta lay in it, son. You can’t just throw a couch on top of it and expect it to make sense.
As I write this, and as more people discover this new feature, I’m starting to realize that Instagram Stories are not really for us. Most people actually using it are celebrities, whose lives are glamorous enough already to have Instagram Stories that won’t hilariously contradict their normal posts. I admit, Snapchat is not ergonomic for celebrities. So on the bright side, Instagram noticed this one fault of Snapchat and designed its own little niche for celebrities to use and their fans to enjoy. In that case, props to you, Instagram. But your attempt at being earthy and “real” is laughable at best and infringement at worst.
Can’t believe I’m saying this, but just stick to the pretty pictures, okay?