Users Can Share Instagram Stories' Video

In another bid to steal Snapchat’s thunder, Instagram’s Stories feature will now let users share replays of live video for up to 24 hours.

“Today’s update preserves the ephemerality of live video, while giving people more ways to connect and share in the moment,” a company spokeswoman said Tuesday.

It wasn’t that long ago that “ephemerality” set Snapchat apart from rival social networks.

That, of course, was before Instagram and its parent company began copying Snap’s features faster than it could dream them up.

For Facebook and Instagram, the strategy has been very successful. Since adding Stories, last summer, Instagram has seen the feature embraced by 250 million daily users. That’s up from 200 million since April alone, according to internal figures revealed by Instagram on Tuesday.  

More recently, Instagram added “face filters.” Users can augment their selfies with swirling math equations, a wreath of flowers, furry koala ears and other tricks.

Facebook also recently added ‘Stories’ to its flagship app. Like Snapchat’s own Stories service, Facebook’s new offering encourages users to share multiple photos and videos as part of a "visual collection" atop their News Feed.

Like Snap’s service, Facebook’s Stories will disappear 24 hours after users post them. Akin to Snapchat, Facebook also recently debuted a camera with which users can add all sorts of silly filters and editing effects to pictures and video.

Facebook is increasingly relying on Instagram to drive revenue growth. In fact, the picture-based network will make up 20% of Facebook’s domestic mobile revenue this year -- up from 15%, last year -- eMarketer estimates.

Fortunately for Facebook, Instagram just recently surpassed 700 million monthly active users, while the network is adding MAUs at a record rate. Facebook’s CFO David Wehner recently told analysts: “We’re seeing great growth there.”

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