We see you Instagram…
This week Instagram released an update to their platform – Instagram Stories. It is essentially a Snapchat copycat – ‘Stories’ disappear in 24 hours, you can draw or add stickers to your images/videos, you can publish them privately to certain followers, there is no liking/hearts, and they have to be shot directly from your camera with no filters!
The update makes sense, given that Snapchat has put a huge dent in the youth demographic that Instagram once was the preferred platform for. This could be an opportunity for brands to recapture the youth who enjoy the Snapchat style. But this doesn’t mean Snapchat is going anywhere.
Many teens have used the new Instagram ‘Stories’ to gain more Snapchat followers. Instagram just caught up to where Snapchat was in 2013 so now will begin the rat race to unveil competitive features. Snapchat users are already in the habit of sharing their more unedited photos to the platform so changing their habits to post on Instagram will take time. Also, Instagram users have enjoyed sharing their edited photos (i.e. “Do it for the ‘gram”) that they may be hesitant to reveal their true selves. Snapchat users are saying “I’m not going anywhere.” One influencer I follow, The Blonde Abroad, who showcases her exotic travels shared that she’ll be using Instagram ‘Stories’ as a way to showcase how she takes her gorgeous photos (i.e. tutorials) whereas her Snapchat feed will remain her day to day diary.
Brands like L’Oreal, Maybelline and Sephora have used Instagram ‘Stories’ to test out similar content they post on Snapchat – behind-the-scenes, new product launches or influencer takeovers. Instagram ‘Stories’ could be a good test for brands who haven’t made the jump to Snapchat yet to see if their content will succeed to this younger demographic.
One pro that Instagram has going for them is that there are at least double the amount of daily active users on the platform compared to Snapchat. Because of this, brands are enjoying the increase of views as compared to Snapchat. Nike, for example, generated 800k views on a recent Instagram Story. Whereas on Snapchat, Nike receives at best 66k views.
But as someone who has abandoned Instagram because of the fierce competition to make your life look perfect and the increased amount of spam this update does not make me want to post on Instagram anymore. Snapchat has my heart until they start to get too pushy with ads or invite the parents.