Instagram vs. Snapchat: What we can expect from Instagram Stories
Earlier this month Instagram announced the launch of Instagram Stories. This feature allows users to post photos and videos that self terminate after 24 hours. Instagram Stories’ basic function is eerily similar to Snapchat’s Stories which was introduced to the app in 2013. Instagram, an app owned by social media giant Facebook was launched in 2010 as a basic image sharing app, later introducing a video function which allowed users to share short videos. The introduction of Instagram Stories seems to be a direct attack on Snapchat, which has become a go to app for young social media users.
A short history of Instagram
After purchasing Instagram for $1 billion in April 2012, Facebook’s tight grip on the social media world grew stronger. At the point of purchase, Instagram was one of Facebook’s largest rivals with 40 million monthly users. Today Instagram boasts 500 million users who collectively post an average of 80 million photos per day.
A short history of Snapchat
After launching in 2011, Snapchat gained momentum rapidly. By May 2013, users were posting 150 million snaps per day. In 2015 75% of Snapchat users were under the age of 25. The app’s popularity amongst millennials has seen Facebook user interaction falter.
Instagram Stories is not the only evidence to indicate that Facebook has met its match with Snapchat. In 2013, Facebook’s decline in teenage daily users coincided with a 3% drop in the company’s value. That same year Snapchat declined a $3 billion offer from Facebook to purchase the app. Following the offer, Facebook introduced the app Facebook Poke, which aimed to counter the success of Snapchat amongst younger users, however the app was highly unsuccessful.
Why Facebook has taken aim at Snapchat
Facebook’s launch of Instagram Stories seems to be a desperate attempt to counteract the decline in social sharing and drop in younger users on Facebook. With more users sharing news content and content from other websites in lieu of personal updates, Facebook’s social sharing model has altered. This trend may be attributed to the size of the social site’s network and people’s preference to share personal updates with the tighter knit community of apps such as Snapchat and WhatsApp. Also, with the parents of millennials highly active Facebook, it comes as no surprise that the millennials are looking for a more siloed alternative to social sharing with peers.
What can we expect from Instagram Stories?
Time will tell whether Instagram Stories succeeds, however for now we can only make predictions on how the app will perform. With Snapchat’s reputation remaining strong amongst teenage users, it is likely that Instagram Stories will attract a different, more mature market.
With a large user base that includes people in their twenties, businesses and blogs, it is unlikely that Instagram Stories will become a substitute for Snapchat. The social communities of each app differ largely. With Snapchat’s users connecting and sharing with close peers, and Instagram communities dispersed across a larger network, we can predict that Instagram Stories might become the older, more mature sibling of Snapchat.
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