Did Instagram Just Steal the Whole Concept of Snapchat?

Valerie Michalecki

Native New Yorker Valerie Michalecki is an unashamed social media addict who always keeps her finger firmly on the pulse of what's hot on the internet. 

When she's not checking her timelines, she's selling unicorns and drinking G&Ts on the beach in her second home on Egypt's South Sinai peninsula.

The whole world stopped today for a moment, when social media enthusiasts around the globe opened their Instagram while still in bed with sleepy eyes. We have so many questions.

What are these little circles at the top? All my followings’ avatars in horizontally scrolling fashion above the normal Instagram feed?

Why does this look so familiar?

I sit on this for a moment. I sit up, stretch, rub my eyes… and then the lightbulb went off.

Hold on… did Instagram just steal the whole concept of Snapchat?

This morning Instagram introduced a very *original* idea called “Instagram Stories.” Short video clips or photos that you can enhance with doodles and emojis that can be viewed by your followers for only 24 hours until it’s deleted from the internet forever. This function is exactly identical to Snapchat Stories that debuted more than three years ago.


Apparently Instagram thought they’d include this fun and very creative and original, super unique function so that users can generate content that is entertaining and spontaneous, but sometimes too messy for the beautifully curated artistic feeds of many.

Facebook bought Instagram back in 2014, making the duo a true social media force to be reckoned with. The face distorting filters that make Snapchat so exciting are sure to come any day now, since Facebook just recently acquired popular face lens app MSQRD. But does that give them the right to completely bulldoze their competition and totally rip off an idea that was once exclusive to Snapchat?

Join the conversation – what do you think of Instagram’s latest update?  How will you use it?