YOUTUBE is doing an Instagram by pinching Snapchat's ubiquitous Stories feature.
The Google-owned video platform has been spotted trialling the disappearing slideshows for a handful of users, according to Android Police.
DAMIAN KEYES, YOUTUBE
YouTube's new Stories update is a carbon-copy of Instagram's feature
And they look identical to Instagram's Stories, boasting the same name and layout.
The only real design tweak is the red border around the Stories cards that you tap to view them. A video demo of the new feature (seen above) was shared by user Damian Keyes.
YouTube did previously announce its own "spin" on the popular format – which was then referred to as "Reels" – designed exclusively for creators (the popular power users on its site).
It said they'd never expire, much like the Stories highlights you can save to the top of your Instagram profile, and they'd support linking to YouTube videos and "YouTube-y stickers".
Therefore, this could just be the first step in a broader rollout of the new feature, which has likely been tweaked since its unveiling last December.
Maybe Reels was just too confusing a name, so YouTube stuck with Stories instead?
Here's how YouTube Stories looked last December
Or are we in the midst of a full-on YouTube-Instagram war fuelled by a series of shameless rip-offs?
The Facebook-owned photo-sharing app kicked off the tit-for-tat by launching IGTV: a video service integrated in Instagram and in an eponymous app that lets users post up to hour-long pre-recorded clips.
Maybe YouTube Stories is YouTube's response.
But can you blame it? Stories have taken Instagram by storm, attracting 400million folk everyday at last count – that's more than double Snapchat's entire user base of 191million people.
The feature's since since been embraced by Facebook and Messenger – along with more niche services like Medium (the blogging tool founded by Twitter co-founder Evan Williams), the Genius music app, dating sites, and, bizarrely, Airbnb.
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