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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

Tina Reed, author of Vitals
3 mins ago - Health

Experts predict an easier COVID winter this year

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

This winter probably won't bring another crushing COVID wave, experts say.

Why it matters: Last winter was the deadliest phase of the pandemic, and many Americans are braced for cold weather to once again usher in a surge in cases and deaths. But there are good reasons to think this year won't be nearly as bad.

Not enough votes for corporate tax hike, Biden says

President Biden speaks at the Electric City Trolley Museum in Scranton, Pennsylvania. Photo: Hannah Beier/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Democrats don't have the votes to raise corporate taxes, President Biden admitted at Thursday's CNN town hall in Baltimore, Maryland, where he went into detail on the state of negotiations concerning the massive reconciliation bill.

Why it matters: Democrats are still negotiating what will go into the bill. Divisions within the party have stalled the legislation for weeks.

Biden signals openness to ending filibuster for voting rights legislation

President Biden participates in a CNN town hall at Baltimore Center Stage in Baltimore, Maryland on Oct. 21, 2021. Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden said Thursday at a CNN town hall he'd be willing to consider doing away with the filibuster in the Senate in a bid to protect voting rights and "and maybe more."

Why it matters: With an evenly split Senate, legislation requires at least 10 Republican votes making it highly unlikely any new voting rights bill would pass with the filibuster in tact.