May 14, 2019 - Technology

Everyone's ripping off Snapchat's Stories

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Stories, the string of photos and videos invented by Snapchat and ripped off by Facebook for Instagram are now being ripped off by ... everyone.

Why it matters: There’s no doubt that the format has been a success and a growing number of companies repurposing it to fit their users’ needs and — hopefully — gain some of their attention.

Driving the news: Spotify is reportedly testing its own version of the Stories format, according to Android Police. The format would enable artists to share content about a particular song’s backstory or inspiration — a natural medium for social media-savvy users and artists and a clever way to capture content that might otherwise end up on other apps.

Others that have also rolled out or tested their own version of Stories:

  • Instagram: Instagram was the first to blatantly copy Snapchat’s Stories in 2016 to stave off the ephemeral messaging app’s threat — and it’s been a massive success. Instagram users can have both manicured permanent photos and less polished, candid ephemeral content within the same app.
  • Facebook and Messenger: Facebook, which owns Instagram, added Stories to its Messenger and flagship app in early 2017.
  • WhatsApp: Facebook also extended Stories to WhatsApp in the form of the Status feature in early 2017. By May 2018, the feature had 450 million daily active users.
  • Google: In 2017, Google started working with (and paying) publishers to create content for Stamp, its AMP-based format akin to Stories.

The bottom line, via Axios tech editor Scott Rosenberg: The story of the internet is one long chronicle of people hopping from one mode of personal sharing to another — from home pages to blogs to social media feeds. New media forms very rarely vanish; they just find new niches as consumption behavior and distribution practices change.

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