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If the camera is the new keyboard, then the future of social media will look more like a slideshow than a Word document. So while Snapchat invented Stories, we’ll have to get used to using them everywhere. 

We can still praise Snapchat, or be pissed at Facebook for changing the apps we use every day, but we have to accept that this our reality now.

Facebook popularized the algorithmically-sorted feed. Tinder popularized yes/no swipes with two-sided consent to connect. Blogger, blogs. Google, PageRank. ICQ, instant messaging. Many of the products we use today are based on broad concepts pioneered elsewhere. The first apps to borrow/steal/copy/”be inspired by” might end up being called clones.

Yet eventually we stop assigning ownership to the originator and shame to followers, and start examining the intricacies of how a mechanic is uniquely implemented. 

Snap Inc’s diagram of how Stories works

Facebook hasn’t been shy about this perspective. When Instagram Stories launched, CEO Kevin Systrom told me “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.”

A few months late when Messenger Day launched, Facebook’s VP of messaging David Marcus mirrored this sentiment, saying “I think the Stories format is definitely a format, the same way the feed is a format. In different contexts as a format, it just makes sense. In my book, it’s totally cool to look at what’s working out there and try to adapt it to the platform you have.”

Systrom was more forthcoming with giving Snap credit while Marcus seemed to purposefully avoid mentioning the competitor by name in our interview. But both are aggressively pushing these photo/video slideshows in their own products, while WhatsApp added the format in a separate tab and Facebook continues to expand the test of its own Stories feature. 

Instagram Stories

The world’s most popular social media company…

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