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.

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3 hours ago - Health

15 states broke single-day coronavirus records this week

Data: Compiled from state health departments by Axios; Map: Danielle Alberti/Axios

At least 15 states broke their single-day novel coronavirus infection records this week, according to state health department data reviewed by Axios.

The big picture: The number of coronavirus cases increased in the vast majority of states over the last week, and decreased in only two states plus the District of Columbia, Axios' Andrew Withershoop and Caitlin Owens report.

Updated 4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 3 p.m. ET: 11,143,945 — Total deaths: 527,681 — Total recoveries — 6,004,593Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 3 p.m. ET: 2,818,588 — Total deaths: 129,584 — Total recoveries: 883,561 — Total tested: 34,213,497Map.
  3. States: Photos of America's pandemic July 4 ICU beds in Arizona's hot spot reach near capacity.
  4. Public health: U.S. coronavirus infections hit record highs for 3 straight days.
  5. Politics: Trump extends PPP application deadlineKimberly Guilfoyle tests positive.
  6. World: Mexican leaders call for tighter border control as infections rise in U.S.
  7. Sports: 31 MLB players test positive as workouts resume.
  8. 1 📽 thing: Drive-in movie theaters are making a comeback.
4 hours ago - Health

In photos: America celebrates July 4 during global pandemic

Photo: Francine Orr/Los Angeles Times/Getty Images

The U.S. has already celebrated Easter, graduations and so much more during the coronavirus pandemic, and now it can add July 4 to the list.

The state of play: Axios' Stef Kight writes public parades and fireworks displays around much of the country are being canceled to prevent mass gatherings where the virus could spread. Hot-dog contests and concerts will play to empty stands and virtual audiences — all while American pride treads an all-time low.