Sep 12, 2017

Instagram adds another Snapchat-like Stories feature


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

America's dwindling executions

The Trump administration wants to reboot federal executions, pointing to a 16-year lapse, but Pew Research reports the government has only executed three people since 1963.

The big picture: Nearly all executions in the U.S. are done by states. Even those have been steadily dropping for two decades, per the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) — marking a downward trend for all executions in the country.

Top NSC official may be moved after "Anonymous" rumor fallout

President Trump at the Daytona 500. (Photo: Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

Top Trump administration officials are in discussions to reassign deputy national security adviser Victoria Coates to the Department of Energy from the National Security Council, per two sources familiar with the planning.

Why it matters: Coates' working relationship with National Security Adviser Robert O'Brien, who elevated her to the deputy role only months ago, has strained amid an effort by some people inside the administration to tag her as "Anonymous" — a charge she has vehemently denied to colleagues.

Jeff Bezos commits $10 billion for climate change research

Bezos at Amazon Smbhav in New Delhi on Jan. 15. Photo: Sajjad Hussain/AFP via Getty Images

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos announced the launch of his "Earth Fund" on Monday via Instagram to fund climate change research and awareness.

What he's saying: Bezos says he's initially committing $10 billion to fund "scientists, activists, and NGOS" that are working on environmental preservation and protection efforts.