Instagram Stories, cloned from Snapchat, has 100M daily viewers

The Facebook-owned social network says the popular feature is all about "ephemerality" -- "pride of authorship" be damned.

Richard Nieva Former senior reporter
Richard Nieva was a senior reporter for CNET News, focusing on Google and Yahoo. He previously worked for PandoDaily and Fortune Magazine, and his writing has appeared in The New York Times, on CNNMoney.com and on CJR.org.
Richard Nieva
2 min read

Instagram Stories is a hit, after just two months.


Just two months after cribbing one of Snapchat's most popular features, Instagram has a big hit on its hands.

Instagram Stories, which lets people post a string of videos and pictures that disappear after 24 hours, has 100 million daily viewers, Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom told BuzzFeed.

Overall, the photo-sharing social network, which turns 6 years old today and is owned by Facebook, has 500 million daily users, Systrom said.

Instagram did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

When Instagram debuted Stories in August, the company received sharp criticism for cloning the marquee feature from Snapchat, one of its biggest rivals. Snapchat, whose modus operandi is in ephemeral videos and pictures, has been wildly popular with young people. Snapchat, owned by Snap, says it reaches 41 percent of all 18- to 34-year-olds in the United States on any given day.

That's a demographic Facebook -- and most every company, really -- craves. The social network already has a history of taking cues from Snapchat. In 2012, Facebook created an app called Poke, for sharing disappearing pictures, also widely seen as a Snapchat clone. It was shut down in 2014.

Systrom said launching Instagram Stories was about more than tacking on what's "cool or hip." It was about following the larger trend of "ephemerality."

"Ephemerality had to be adopted in a way that worked. And a signal that it is working is that after just a few months, over 100 million people, daily, use Instagram Stories," he said. "So, forget about pride of authorship, internally or externally -- it's working."