Instagram on Tuesday put its own spin on a key Snapchat feature by letting users post “Stories” that eventually vanish from the Facebook-owned photo- and video-sharing application.
Instagram Stories encourages people to share ephemeral collages of everyday moments with friends at a service that has built a reputation as a social network where people post highlights from their lives or artistic works.
“You can share as much as you want throughout the day — with as much creativity as you want,” Instagram said in a blog post.
“The photos and videos will disappear after 24 hours and won’t appear on your profile grid or in feed.”
The move ramps up competition with Snapchat, which became a hit with messages that disappear shortly after being viewed.
The Snapchat-like feature also lets people playfully drawn on or add text to images, which are presented in a slide-show style once posted.
Instagram account settings allow users to dictate whether stories should be viewable only by followers, and opt to conceal them from some.
Instagram Stories will be rolled out in coming weeks to versions of the application tailored for smartphones powered by Android or Apple iOS software.
Instagram on Monday said separately that is adding a new weapon for fighting harassment at the popular mobile app.
The social network began letting some accounts that attract torrents of feedback filter those comments by keywords or even turn off the option to comment on particular posts.
If the test goes well, the anti-harassment feature could begin to spread across Instagram in coming weeks.
Instagram in June said that its user base has surged to half a billion, adding its latest 100 million in less than a year. More than 80 percent of Instagram users are outside the United States.
Instagram, which was acquired by Facebook in 2012, is now seen as a growth engine for Facebook, which has some 1.6 billion users around the world.
Meanwhile, vanishing message app Snapchat last month began giving users the option of storing images as “Memories” they can look back on or share anew.
Snapchat described the new feature as a “big change” at the service that made its mark with posts that don’t stick around.
The new Memories feature was designed to let people only save images, referred to as Snaps, that they send.
Snapchat estimates it has more than 100 million users globally of the service for sending videos, images and text messages which vanish after being viewed. Some reports say it generates 10 billion video views per day.