Snapchat announced today it's allowing users to create their own Stories and select who can contribute to and view them — and they can even use geofencing to designate certain locations where users can upload their content to the Story. This allows users to create custom audiences for these Stories, which the company suggests using for birthday parties, weddings, etc. The custom Story disappears if no one has contributed to it in the past 24 hours.
On the same day, Instagram announced it's adding location-based stories that will appear at the top of your feed, similar to a feature Snapchat launched years ago. Different from Snapchat, Instagram also announced the ability to search for stories by hashtag.
Why it matters: The horserace for user retention through camera innovations between Instagram and Snapchat hasn't let up. Since adopting Snapchat's "Stories" feature, Instagram has been able to put a significant dent in Snapchat's growth. Both companies are focusing their efforts on "camera innovations," like editing posts and filtering them in unique ways, because their distribution models are nearly identical.