Hi, my name is Ray Wong and I have a very, very serious Instagram Stories addiction. There, I said it. Don’t judge me.
But I’m not your usual junkie. I posted so much on my IG Stories during my recent vacation in Japan that I broke it (well, sort of). And boy, was I pissed.
I had this crazy idea of my very first trip to Japan being free of social media. I wanted to visit the Land of the Rising Sun with fresh eyes, free of the pressure to post anything and really disconnect from this perverse “pics or it didn’t happen” culture we now live in.
I was on track to commit to no social media as I boarded my flight. I deleted Slack once I was seated. Twitter was next. I’ve long stopped checking Facebook (are you still on Facebook?). And I rarely post anything to Snapchat anymore; I mostly use it to message friends.
But I couldn’t delete Instagram. If I could only pick one social media platform to use forever, it’d be Instagram. I created an account on the very first day it went live in 2010 and I hope I’m there on the last day if it ever closes down.
Almost as soon as I landed in Tokyo, my Instagram Story became a torrent — and I mean that — of video clips.
I’ve been to other Asian megacities before, but Tokyo was so different. The people, places, and sounds. It was all so infectiously wonderful. To the point where I couldn’t resist documenting it all.
I felt compelled to share, share, and share. And share, share, and share some more.
By the end of my first real day exploring the city, I had posted over 100 video clips to Instagram Stories. You know how there are little lines on the top of a person’s story that tells you how many clips are in their IG Story? Mine weren’t lines. They were dots. Really, tiny dots.
Here’s what a typical Instagram Story looks like with about a dozen or fewer stories:
And here’s what every day of my trip in Japan looked like:
I didn’t want these “vlogs” or memories to disappear, so I decided to save them at the end of every day so that I could watch them again later.
But when I went back to my Airbnb after an incredible first day out, my heart sank.
I discovered all of my clips from the first 2-3 hours in Shinjuku were gone. I panicked. I thought it was a bug. It had to be!
But no, it turns out that 100 clips is the maximum number of clips that can be posted to Instagram Stories within 24 hours. Post more and it deletes the ones from earlier. I literally had to manually tap on my screen and count the number of clips Instagram Stories allowed to figure this out.
Instagram has confirmed to Mashable that 100 clips (photos or videos) is indeed the maximum number of Instagram Stories that can be posted at one time.
People even joked on Twitter about my Instagram Stories problem:
I lost who knows how many memories — the rawest, most genuine first thoughts on Japan and the city’s many pachinkos and arcades — but it’s OK. I’ll live.
I realize that I’m in the extreme minority where 100 clips isn’t enough (I don’t share anywhere near this much on a daily basis), but I would like to see the cap increased. It opens up the potential to some real long-form storytelling or vlogging on Instagram.
The 15 seconds people record here and there everyday adds up quickly, and at 100 clips, it can total up to about a 25 minute story. I never had a story longer than about 15 minutes, but if I were to guess, I probably had over 30 minutes worth of video on that first day.
I don’t know anyone who posts as much as I do to Instagram Stories, and maybe that’s a lesson in itself. Should I post less? I could, but I could also use YouTube for vlogging. YouTube’s great, but when I see how frictionless it is to string together a daily “vlog” on Instagram, it only makes me want more from the visual platform.
But maybe I’m asking for too much. The beauty to Instagram is that it’s short and to-the-point and you’re constantly browsing new content from people you know and don’t know. YouTube’s for longer videos. Instagram’s the king of short-form. Different platform for different lengths. It’d just be nice if Instagram Stories would let me record a little longer.