In March 2017, I drove down to the Instagram offices in Menlo Park to meet with founder Kevin Systrom. The subject of the meeting had not been disclosed to me in advance, and when we sat down in a conference room, Systrom had a surprise for me: his team had cloned Snapchat’s popular stories feature and planned to more or less import the design wholesale into Instagram.
It was a brazen move, particularly by the standards of American business, but it was undeniably effective: Instagram usage surged dramatically, and Snapchat plateaued. Soon stories started popping up everywhere: Tinder, Google Photos, LinkedIn, and Medium, to name a few. (A recurring joke holds that Excel will someday add stories; at this point, I wouldn’t bet against…tech, The Verge