The CEO of Instagram has explained why Instagram Stories was necessary for the platform to succeed, and says he doesn’t worry about “pride of authorship”.
Speaking to Buzzfeed News, Kevin System acknowledged that Instagram Stories is similar to Snapchat (though didn’t name it directly), but admitted that it might not always be so: “I agree, the video format in our viewer does feel similar to what a lot of other people are doing,” said System. “I think that’s fine for now, but it’s not where we want to end up. We want to innovate and improve the experience.”
Instagram Stories launched back in August, and was quickly dubbed a ‘Snapchat clone’ by users and media alike. But the platform has seen success, with over 100 million users viewing stories each day. It’s probably part of the reason why Instagram has been able to boost its total active user figures to 500 million each month.
According to the 32-year-old CEO, Instagram had to move on from being somewhere that you just “post the highlights of your day”, adding: “I wish people felt more free to share as much as they wanted during the day.”
“As we dug into our user studies, I realised very quickly that we had to find a solution that made it so you didn’t have to post your profile,” the Instagram co-founder told Buzzfeed. “After some tests, we added a check box that said ‘expire from my profile’ or ‘don’t post to my profile’. But no one understood why they would do that.”
He continued: “We have a lot of employees that believe passionately in ephemerality. And I wanted to be sure that we were doing the right thing for the community – not just reacting to what was out there because it was cool or hip. Ephemerality had to be adopted in a way that worked. And a signal that it is working is that after just few months, over 100 million people, daily, use Instagram Stories. So, forget about pride of authorship, internally or externally – it’s working.”
Instagram is now six years old, and is one of the most popular social networks on the planet. The platform was acquired by Facebook back in April 2012 for around $1 billion (in a mix of cash and stock). It’s currently available in 25 languages, and works on Android, iOS, and Windows.