Instagram Legally Copies Snapchat Stories - Dispatch Weekly

August 8, 2016 - Reading time: 3 minutes

Instagram Stories has recreated Snapchat Stories where in addition to taking photogenic photos you can now take a quick selfie, doodling on top of it, before it disappears in 24 hours.

Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom said to TechCruch that real innovation relied upon how well you “put your own spin on it (ideas).”

At present, copyright law does not protect ideas, which has seen the tech and media industries use ideas from competitors without worrying about legal ramifications.

Copying Ideas

Facebook has copied Snapchat, trying to get attention with Poke, Riff and Slingshot, which all failed to gain popularity.

Twitter took a cue from Facebook when it introduced an algorithmic feed. Similarly, Instagram and Facebook copied Twitter’s use of hashtags.

Jeremy Harris, an intellectual property lawyer told TechWorld, Snapchat could not make a case against Instagram, “unless they are copying the underlying source code, or perhaps the exact way it looks.”

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Sharing Culture

Instagram, the Facebook owned photo sharing site, has garnered positive reviews from the user-friendly navigation and visual aesthetic.

According to the American Marketing Association, 2015, Snapchat continues to be popular with younger audiences, with 46.8 percent of its users between 18-24.

According to Pew Research Center, 2015, Instagram includes 28 percent of adult Internet users and 24 percent of the entire adult population

Snapchat’s smaller adult audience may be due to the difficulty of the design and the instantaneous nature of messages.


Snapchat has four different edit phase options with varying colours and texts, however Instagram only offers two.

Instagram also includes more navigational tools, telling the user to ‘send message’ or ‘cancel’.


The new Stories feature on Instagram marks a new change in posting. Whereas images were more of a curated experience the new feature allows users to post images more quickly, reacting to events in real-time.

Instagram now has a combination of curated and reactionary content that may pry users away from Snapchat, resulting in competition between the two apps.

Whereas Instagram used to involve carefully selecting an image from a photo gallery, the new Stories feature will make everything more immediate.

This may lead to feeling a pressure to constantly capture and document life, rather than living it.

DW Staff

David Lintott is the Editor-in-Chief, leading our team of talented freelance journalists. He specializes in covering culture, sport, and society. Originally from the decaying seaside town of Eastbourne, he attributes his insightful world-weariness to his roots in this unique setting.