‘Made it your own’ has become one of the clichés for TV talent-show X Factor, usually deployed by a judge when a contestant has bellowed a popular song into oblivion.
Thankfully, that’s not the usage adopted by Instagram’s CEO Kevin Systrom, when he used the phrase to suggest that while his company may have copied the ‘stories’ format from Snapchat, it has since, well…
“If you look at all these interactivity features we’ve added, we’ve really made stories something else. We’ve really innovated and made it our own,” he told TechCrunch.
Instagram’s stories feature now has 400 million daily users, with increasing interactivity through polls, questions, stickers and so on.
“Remember how at the launch of stories, I said it was a format and we want to make it original? And there was a bunch of criticism around us adopting this format?” said Systrom. “My response was this is a format and we’re going to innovate and make it our own. The whole idea there is to make it not just about photography but about expression.”
Here’s the quote worth thinking about though: Systrom sees stories becoming more important than the (current) main feed in Instagram.
“We believe the future is the combination of feed and stories, and it just takes time for Stories to get to the same level or even exceed feed.” He clarified in another interview, with The Verge, that this doesn’t mean replacement altogether. “The balance between the two is shifting only because we’re finding it to be more and more exciting to feature more stories, but that doesn’t mean the feed goes away.”