First things, first: Instagram Stories will not kill Snapchat (Stories).
Recently, media content sharing giant, Instagram, released a new feature called Instagram stories, in which an Instagram user, new or old, can use a combination of photos and/or video clips to share with their audience what they have been up to, in a less curated way than just posting a picture at random times. Like Instagram says in its marketing ad for this feature, everyone has a story, and it shows as Instagram is less of a museum now, and has a more personal touch to it, like you are actually being part of someone else’s day, more involved. Very similar to what another app does….
Now this development was welcomed less with enthusiasm and expectation, but more with surprise, bewilderment and outright disgust in some areas, because this for me, might just be the worst case of legal plagiarism I have ever seen. It’s like the head of the design team at Instagram just told his crew, Do not stress yourself; do you all use Snapchat? Go and copy as much as you can from them, even the name (Stories); only change Snapchat to Instagram. It is bad. They copied so much, even down to the gestures for navigating the interface. They probably didn’t change their logo because they did get a new logo recently, and it might have made them look even more ridiculous. Even the CEO of Instagram admitted as much that their new feature was heavily inspired by Snapchat’s.
But I think Instagram did a good job. Some might even argue it is better than it’s competitor.
I think there are more daily active users on Snapchat, but there are more users overall on Instagram. It might not be far-fetched either to state that 90% of anyone with any kind of social media footprint is on Instagram, but the figure would be far lower for the popular Snapchat. Snapchat has created its niche among young people and celebrities with this demographic following, and it promises an environment of exclusivity hardly experienced anywhere else. It is also comparatively feature-rich with the use of custom bit emojis and geofilters giving it a unique experience. Instagram broke no laws. They didn’t bother reinventing the wheel.
Instagram stories is a very bare bones setup, which I must admit is way less stressful to use than Snapchat, especially for new adopters. It doesn’t require the installation and setup of new software/apps, or indeed a huge learning curve. An average person on Snapchat might follow and be followed by 50 people either way, but on Instagram, there is a significantly larger audience. Which is why Instagram did not need to roll out so many new features, because with this release, Instagram is looking to regain relevance in the content management sphere. What Instagram did before, they did without peer. Entering into the Stories game will increase their daily user base, and make it more relevant.
The cool kids will stay on Snapchat for the sake of its exclusivity and some idea of solidarity with the brand, but having used both platforms, I have noticed that people like Instagram Stories. They really do. Quite a number of people now post on both platforms (see work!), especially because of the fan base built up on Snapchat that they don’t want to lose, but I predict that more celebrities and companies are going to eventually migrate fully to Instagram, as it would provide a single platform which can provide all their publicity needs, both curated and not, to a much wider audience.
Instagram has nothing to lose. Absolutely nothing at stake. Worst case scenario, their user base increases by a negligible amount, but as they release new features and introduce some form of ORIGINAL creativity and innovation, Snapchat will not be dead, but it would have to share its spotlight with a media outfit, that popular or not, is bigger than it is.
By the way, you guys remember that Facebook owns Instagram, right? I’ll just drop that here.
What do you think of the article? If you like it, share with your peeps. If you have a contrasting opinion, leave it in the comments below, and I will do my best to reply cordially to everyone who asks a question or needs clarification.