A week ago, Instagram launched its brand new feature – well, brand new to Instagram anyway. It is called Stories. Instagram Stories is not to be confused with Snapchat Stories which is easy to do given the fact that their names are the same and the features are pretty much the same too!
Both Instagram Stories and Snapchat Stories allow you to pull together a bunch of photos throughout the day into a story and the story then deletes after 24 hours. You can also choose who is able to view your stories.
Facebook-owned Instagram has already admiringly looked at Snapchat. In 2012 with Snapchat just a year old, Facebook launched Facebook Poke, an app which featured disappearing photos, exactly the same as Snapchat. However, in that year that Snapchat had been around, it had built up a loyal army of users who were not for switching.
Eventually in 2014, Facebook Poke was put out of its misery. Mark Zuckerberg dismissed Facebook Poke as ‘more of a joke’, but that is contrary to Instagram’s new feature.
What will the impact be of this direct challenge to Snapchat?
Snapchat is at a crucial time in its life. It is 5 years old and while investors will be happy with the 150 million daily active users that it attracts, they will be looking for the new advertising platform to start attracting some serious spend. Instagram has 300 million daily active users and its advertising platform is fully integrated into the mature Facebook advertising platform. Also, Facebook has chosen not to launch (yet) another app, but integrate the feature into an already hugely popular product, so it is no longer starting from scratch.
Instagram has a very significant audience of a key demographic for advertisers, the financial backing of Facebook and now a feature to rival he spontaneity of Snapchat.
Of course the success of Snapchat will be determined by what new features they have up their sleeve for users and advertisers, but this is a move from a competitor which gives users and advertisers a reason not to visit Snapchat – what every social network dreads.
Do you think that this will impact on the success of Snapchat? Or is Instagram losing credibility by simply copying their key competitor? Leave a comment and share your thoughts.