Facebook-owned Instagram has introduced a new feature: Stories. And, yes, it's just like Snapchat's Stories feature.

Here's the deal. With Snapchat stories, you can broadcast multiple snaps (aka videos and photos) taken throughout the day, complete with overlays of doodles and stickers and filters and masks. This reel of snaps will disappear after 24 hours, thus maintaining Snapchat's ephemeral vibe. If you want to repopulate your story reel, just take more videos and photos and then broadcast them.

Now, here's where Instagram comes in... It's obviously one of the most popular photo-sharing apps today, though it has faced some stiff competition as of late, including from Snapchat, which it unsuccessfully tried to buy in the past before launching a similar app that failed to take off. Flash forward to 2016, and instead of trying to buy Snapchat again, Instagram is straight up copying the app with its own Stories feature.

Here's everything you need to know about Instagram Stories.

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Instagram has described its new Stories feature as something that lets you "share all the moments of your day, not just the ones you want to keep on your profile". The feature basically enables you to share multiple photos and videos, and they appear together in a "slideshow format", which basically means a reel, like Snapchat. And, of course, these photos and videos will disappear after 24 hours. Seriously.

You can even add text and doodles to your photos and videos. See? We weren't kidding; it's exactly like Snapchat Stories.

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  • View Stories: You'll see stories from the people you follow in a bar at the top of your feed. When there's a new story to see, like from your friend, his or her profile photo will be up there with a colourful ring around it. Just tap it to view the story, and then while watching, you can tap to go back or forward and swipe to jump to another person's story.
  • Comment on Stories: There are no likes or public comments on Stories (again, like Snapchat). But you can tap a story to send a private message to that person.
  • See who's watching your Stories: When watching your own story, swipe up to see who’s watched each photo and video.
  • Make your Stories private: If your account is set to private, your story will only be visible to your followers. You can also hide your entire story from anyone you don’t want to see it, even if they follow you.
  • Post to your profile: Your Instagram Story by default won’t appear on your profile grid or in feed, but you can choose to feature a particular part of your story by posting it on your profile.
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Instagram's Help Center has several step-by-step guides that explain everything you need to know.

Snapchat Stories has been around longer, so it has more tricks to play with, such as live filters and face-swapping. Other than that, they're identical. Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom even told TechCrunch that Snapchat "pioneered a lot of this format" and deserves "all the credit".

Instagram Stories will roll out globally over the next few weeks on iOS and Android.

Check out Instagram's blog post for more details