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Sure, Instagram’s Stories is pretty much a copy of everything that makes Snapchat popular. But now, it seems the social media platform is reportedly going to deviate from Snapchat in one big way: Instagram will now suggest Stories from users they don’t directly follow.
Starting Monday, some users will start seeing Stories recommended by Instagram at the top of their Explore tab, according to Digital Trends. These suggestions are based on your Instagram activity — the users you follow, the posts you like, etc. — as well as other factors including the topics you search for frequently.
This is worth noting because the Explore tab is actually a popular feature of Instagram — the photo-sharing giant says that about 100 million people visit the tab every day, that’s one-fifth of the platform’s monthly users, and one-third of the app’s daily use activity, according to TechCrunch.
Explore originally launched as Popular, which just showed the posts with the most ‘likes’ and comments. But Instagram fine-tuned Popular in 2014, and relaunched it the way it is today — which uses a learning algorithm to find posts, topics and people based on your Instagram habits.
This deviation should allow Instagram to forge ahead of Snapchat in user recommendation — Snapchat currently doesn’t offer any recommendations, something that could hurt the platform’s popularity among certain audiences.
Finding new and interesting accounts to follow is something that certainly keeps social media users coming back to a platform — even long after they’ve gotten bored with the people they already follow.
So although Stories is kind of lagging behind Snapchat — and the platform certainly has its growing pains — the Instagram feature might just pick up where Snapchat left off, even innovating and adding features that its predecessor lacks.
Recommended Stories should start popping up on certain users’ apps, and Instagram says a general rollout is planned for the near future.