Many of us use Instagram Stories to upload snapshots of our everyday lives, be they pics of our hipster iced lattes or shots of our nights on the town.
But, one rather inventive guy has found a creative way to turn Instagram Stories into interactive games. And, they’re pretty damn addictive.
Pablo Rochat is a digital creative based in San Francisco, U.S. with a rather unusual hobby: he finds creative ways to "hack" mobile apps to make them more fun. His latest project involves hacking the "tap to skip" and "press and hold to pause" functions on Instagram Stories to create interactive games. Rochat posts a new game on his Instagram account every other day.
Rochat says that most users of social products create content that’s expected; things like selfies, food pics, sunsets and memes. But, he loves using tech in "unexpected ways," particularly when that tech provides a new way to interact with content.
"The idea started a couple years ago on Vine, when I realised you can simply press and hold a Vine video to pause it. I thought it was interesting that you could actually touch the video and it would respond immediately," says Rochat.
He began making simple arcade-style games on Vine, where the user needed to tap and hold to pin the tail on the donkey.
"Vine eventually died (RIP). But when Instagram Stories came out, it provided a new opportunity for me to create these interactive games again," he says.
But, creating fun games that work on Instagram Stories is no mean feat, and the Instagram Stories format isn’t without its limitations.
"First I have to design the game on paper, then animate the graphics in After Effects, then post the story sequentially on Instagram," says Rochat.
This whole process takes between three and five hours; which is a lot of time for a piece of content that lasts just 24 hours. He says he spends his nights and weekends producing these games and he has really loves making them.
"The best games are intuitive and need very little instructions," he says. "Instagram Story viewers are quick to skip over an entire story if they are not immediately engaged and understand what to do."
Rochat says the engagement on the games is "wild" and he gets lots of positive DMs each time he posts an interactive Instagram Story. He says around 80 to 90 percent of viewers complete the entire story.
Instagram Stories aren’t just latte art and videos of your nights out, you know!