It’s common knowledge that video killed the radio star. But, in 2018, is Instagram Stories killing Snapchat?
It appears so.
Snapchat, at one point, dominated the social media game. It beat out Facebook, Twitter and Instagram as the fastest-growing social media platform in the world.
Then, enter Instagram Stories.
Instagram, back in August, promoted this new app feature as a way to “share all the moments of your day, not just the ones you want to keep on your profile.” Essentially, Instagram was copying what people liked most about Snapchat. But it was going to do it better.
Now, 200 million people are using Instagram Stories every day, whereas there are 160 million daily users on Snapchat. Snapchat is also showing a significant decline in viewership.
Meanwhile, Instagram Stories is thriving.
How Instagram Stories works
Like Snapchat, pictures and videos on Instagram Stories disappear after 24 hours. You can also write, doodle and place stickers on them. Stories appear in a carousel of profile pictures from the people you follow at the top of your feed. Additionally, there’s an Explore tab at the top where you can find public stories from popular accounts.
Why Instagram Stories is beating Snapchat Stories
It’s obvious that Instagram is invading what helped Snapchat gain momentum in the first place — a lack of permanence. Prior, the rivalry between the apps was minimal because Instagram was purely a catalog of memories.
But what allowed Instagram — a Facebook-owned company — to swoop into Snapchat territory is a longstanding complaint against Snapchat — it’s difficult to figure out how to use. Remember that disastrous Snapchat update a few months ago? It was confusing. It angered people. People begged that the update would be rolled back. Unfortunately, this problem was not new to the app.
So, knowing that users have been frustrated, Instagram created a more intuitive version, with easy-to-use filters, typing tools and on-image drawing. No awkward screen swipes or wonky tap combinations necessary.
Then, Instagram continued to roll out new features. It added video support, DM capabilities, custom geotags, a Boomerang feature, rewind and a self-timer. Plus, with every update, just so users wouldn’t get lost, Instagram provided a video explanation. Oh, snap!
Can Snapchat make a comeback?
Well, this question is hard to answer. Snapchat could still improve its ease of use, and the app does have its dedicated fans. But most users don’t care about originality. It doesn’t matter if Instagram Stories feels like a clone of Snapchat Stories. People only care that it makes communicating with their friends easy to do in the manner they choose. Right now, Instagram Stories is killing it in that area, and it could be killing Snapchat in the process.