Instagram

Instagram announced Tuesday it will now let users share "Stories," a feature it copied from Snapchat in 2016, to friends directly. Snapchat unveiled a similar feature in March that lets you create custom stories for groups. Instagram says the update will be rolling out globally over the coming weeks.

Why it matters: Instagram has captured a massive Stories audience since it launched the copycat feature last year, and most analysts would argue that it has put a dent in Snapchat's user growth. In June, Instagram Stories hit 250 million daily active users (DAUs), again surpassing Snapchat's 166 million DAUs, first reported during its earning's report in May.

Its efforts appear to be paying off.

  • Instagram surpassed Snapchat's number of daily active users less than a year after launching its Stories feature.
  • In August, Instagram revealed engagement stats that rivaled Snap. (Users under the age of 25 spend more than 32 minutes a day on Instagram, on average, while Users age 25+ spend more than 24 minutes a day, on average. Snapchat users spend an average of 30+ minutes daily on the app.)

Instagram COO Marne Levine conceded at Fortune's Brainstorm Tech conference in Aspen earlier this year that they didn't invent the Stories format, but that their product offers a unique experience:

"We've acknowledged over and over again that we did not invent the Stories format," Levine said. "It's a great format and it works well in our community."

Go deeper

Federal judge blocks DOJ from defending Trump in Carroll rape defamation case

E. Jean Carroll in Warwick, New York. Photo: Eva Deitch for The Washington Post via Getty Images

A federal judge on Tuesday dismissed the Justice Department's attempted intervention on behalf of President Trump in writer E. Jean Carroll's defamation lawsuit against him, after she accused him of raping her in a dressing room in the mid-1990s.

Catch up quick: The agency argued that Trump was "acting within the scope of his office" as president when he said in 2019 that Carroll was "lying" about her claim.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Politics: Axios-Ipsos poll: Federal response has only gotten worse — The swing states where the pandemic is raging.
  2. Health: The coronavirus is starting to crush some hospitals — 13 states set single-day case records last week.
  3. Business: Where stimulus is needed most.
  4. Education: The dangerous instability of school re-openings.
  5. States: Nearly two dozen Minnesota COVID cases traced to 3 Trump campaign events.
  6. World: Unrest in Italy as restrictions grow across Europe.
  7. Media: Fox News president and several hosts advised to quarantine.

Pre-bunking rises ahead of the 2020 election

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Tech platforms are no longer satisfied with debunking falsehoods — now they're starting to invest in efforts that preemptively show users accurate information to help them counter falsehoods later on.

Why it matters: Experts argue that pre-bunking can be a more effective strategy for combating misinformation than fact-checking. It's also a less polarizing way to address misinformation than trying to apply judgements to posts after they've been shared.