Facebook beating Snapchat at its own game?
In eight months, Instagram's new Snapchat-copied feature 'Stories' has attracted 200mn users, compared to the 161mn Snapchat managed to gain in five years. Facebook, which is legally allowed to copy Snapchat's features and has a far wider reach, has introduced the temporary-update feature to WhatsApp, Facebook, and even Messenger. Snapchat, whose revenue is driven by ads, might have a hard time matching up.
Snapchat, created by Evan Spiegel in 2011, was originally a private messaging service with disappearing photos: the anti-thesis of social media. Young audiences flocked to it as unflattering photos shared wouldn't exist after a few seconds and couldn't be accessed by family or employers. Its format alleviated users' stress of sharing their very best pictures. Snapchat introduced 'Stories' way back in 2013.
Instagram rolls out 'Stories'!
Instagram launched a Snapchat pioneered format with its own unique spin. 'Instagram Stories', as the feature is called, will be rolled out globally for Android and iOS over the next couple of weeks. Stories will be 'ephemeral' and will only have a life span of 24 hours. Stories will be in a secondary feed but won't have 'likes' or 'public comments' like regular posts.
How does it work?
'Stories' bears a striking resemblance to Snapchat; Instagram Stories lets you share photos and videos in a story format. Users can make doodles, use stickers and filters before sharing it with followers. It will be possible to block some followers from seeing the video diary, a feature currently unavailable for the main feed. For now, Instagram will steer clear of ads within this feature.
Turning down Facebook
Snapchat was founded in 2011 by three undergrad students at Stanford University; in 2013 the two year old start-up rebuffed Facebook's $3 billion offer of acquisition. It is today valued at nearly $19 billion.
Dent in Snapchat's fortunes?
Instagram Stories would reach 300 million daily users compared to Snapchat's 150 million. Digital agencies believe that Snapchat's ghost logo is the "logo for a generation" and its format is much more spontaneous and engaging. Marketers opine that since Snapchat originally started out as messaging medium before evolving into a broadcasting channel, it offers a unique intimacy that sets it apart from Instagram.
Snapchat vs. Instagram
Currently, Snapchat reaches 41% of all those between the ages of 18 to 34 in the United States. However, a recent study states that nearly 32% teens in the U.S. rank Instagram as their most favoured social media network.