- Instagram Stories may be widely seen as a copycat of Snapchat’s popular Stories feature, but there is now one major difference: Instagram will recommend Stories for users to follow through algorithmically-driven, personalized suggestions.
- The new feature, which will roll out soon to all users, will appear in Instagram's Explore section, according to TechCrunch.
- Instagram says 100 million people visit the Explore tab daily, about 20% of its 500 million monthly active users and one-third of its daily active users.
In a bid to make Stories more popular with users and differentiate the feature with Snapchat Stories, Instagram is bringing in algorithmically-driven recommendations for Stories to its Explore tab. By contrast, Snapchat has always taken a hands-off approach by not making recommendations and instead allowing its users to find accounts to follow on their own.
The move by Instagram could accelerate the growth of its Stories audience, as new users don't necessarily need to find friends who also use it to engage with the feature. Instagram's Stories feed is already driven by an algorithm based on Facebook/Instagram engagement data that orders Stories according to how likely users are to check them out. Instagram believes its users will appreciate the help, and it now stands as a major differentiator from the Snapchat user experience.
“Some seek it out as the primary way they use Instagram," Instagram’s Director of Product Management Blake Barnes told TechCrunch about the Explore tab. "Some people view it as a dessert.”