Instagram recently released its newest feature: Instagram Stories. It allows Instagram users to post a photo or short video that will disappear after 24 hours. Sound familiar? That’s because it’s almost an exact replica of the Stories feature on Snapchat’s platform. You can even draw and add emojis to your Instagram story, just like Snapchat.
I first heard about Instagram Stories on Twitter (honestly where I get most of my news) and my first thought was “Does Instagram own Snapchat?” No, they don’t. So my next thought was does this infringe upon Snapchat’s copyright or trademark? Apparently not. And Instagram isn’t trying to hide the fact that they made a copycat version of Snapchat’s idea. Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom actually admitted “Snapchat deserves all the credit,” when it came to the thought behind Instagram Stories.
Casey Neistat, one of my favorite YouTubers, posted one of the first tweets I saw related to Instagram Stories, where he compared Snapchat to Myspace and basically said Instagram Stories would lead to the death of Snapchat. I thought this was a bit over the top. Sure, Instagram Stories are nice, but would the 150 million daily Snapchat users really switch platforms for the same feature?
Then I opened Instagram and Neistat’s tweet made sense, especially for brands. Why? Here’s a few reasons.
It’s one less account you have to make. And one less login to remember. And now brands don’t have to worry if a Snapchat user has already taken the username the brand uses for their other social accounts.
Search is easier. You have to type in the exact username of the person you’re looking for on Snapchat in order to add the correct account. It’s not like Instagram, Facebook or Twitter in that it will list several accounts with similar usernames and you can look through to find the account you’re looking for.
There’s less of a barrier to viewing the stories. This is probably the most exciting and important feature for brands. While it’s not hard to add someone on Snapchat, it’s also not as simple as clicking the follow button on Instagram.
While I think adding Stories was a very smart move for Instagram, I don’t think this is the end of Snapchat, but it might be the end of Snapchat Stories. Snapchat still has geotags, lenses (ex: the dog filter) and the ability to send photos and videos to only a select amount of people. Now it’s just a race to see which platform can get an analytics or insights tracker set up for the Stories feature first.
Sara is a Maryland native who moved cross country to join the team at HMA. She is passionate about digital media and knowing what’s upcoming in new technology, whether it’s apps, social media platforms or hardware. She enjoys hiking, reading and traveling.
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