They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery and if Instagram’s new capability addition is anything to go by, Snapchat should be seriously chuffed.
Yesterday, the photo-sharing platform announced ‘Instagram Stories’, which gives users the ability to create video content that has a 24-hour expiry in viewing time. Keen Snapchat users like myself will recognise this function: after all, that’s exactly what we’ve all been doing on Snapchat, along with the other 100 million daily users. As familiar as it may seem to Snapchat users (Instagram’s co-founder and CEO Kevin Systrom himself didn’t shy away from the comparisons, acknowledging publicly that certain “competitors”, i.e. Snapchat, “deserve all the credit”), the company is playing a pretty strong game and we can’t ignore it.
Yesterday, I took on the challenge and integrated Stories into my Instagram updates. The outcome? Within the first hour of posting an Instagram Story, I had 15x the amount of views than I do for a similar update on my beloved Snapchat. It’s certainly true that I have more followers on Instagram, but I definitely think it says something about how much the new addition might impact the reach and individuality of Snapchat, especially seeing as it has ongoing issues with search mobility.
Not only that, but even in the early stages of Instagram Stories, where filter options are limited (and we all know how much I love a good butterfly Snapchat filter), keen users have already found a way around it. Friend and marketing guru Ryan Bonnici has a way to integrate your favourite Snap filters into your Instagram efforts (have a look here). With this capability, I have to ask: is there anything left that sets Snapchat apart from the crowd? Will its users continue their loyalty or swap back to the more familiar format of Instagram?
One thing is for certain: expect to see many more Instagram Story updates from me as this new addition continues to explode. As for the battle for user-supremacy, the gloves are well and truly off and while we’ve made our bets, we’ll still be watching this fight very closely. Through a filter, of course.