Has Instagram Stories Conquered Snapchat Once-And-For-All?

Has Instagram Stories Conquered Snapchat Once-And-For-All?

It was the go-to question last year when Instagram announced the essentially copy-and-paste integration of Snapchat Stories into their own app. Is this is a classic case of the pioneer being conquered? It’s starting to look like it.

You may recall the article last year that Benjamin Von Wong and I collaborated on, claiming that the next best thing for photographers was Snapchat. The thought of sharing and interacting with your friends and following was exciting to see the potential in the app. Initially I’d like to say it was a hit sharing this idea to everyone, but after a few months have past many complaints arose: you couldn’t effectively cross promote Snapchat to bring followers in, you couldn’t upload photos (at that time), and it simply wasn’t working out). Snapchat, in my opinion, was stubborn about the features they offered and had a sense of the unwillingness to change.

Instagram Took Notice

A shark named Instagram scented blood in the water…

At first, Instagram (owned by Facebook) circled Snapchat and wanted to make friends with Snapchat by purchasing the start-up company. Snapchat really had none of that by double downing on their platform and sticking to their guns by surprisingly refusing Facebook’s multi-billion offer.

If You Can't Buy Them, Go After Them

So what did Instagram do? If you can’t buy them, go after them. They gave Instagram no choice.

Last year, August 2nd, they decided to sink their teeth in by announcing to the world that they would be rolling out an eerily familiar feature called Instagram stories. It was everything you could do with Snapchat, but even more.

Instagram stories gave users no hassle of building a following on a new social network, the ability to upload photos without an annoying white border, you had more freedom when editing texts and drawing, and not to mention everyone’s favorite thing in the world today… Boomerangs.

The Proof Is In The Pudding

Since then, they have added an outstanding Instagram Live Stories feature, the ability to view anyone’s story (even if you don’t follow them), geo-like filters, stickers, and bunch more.

It’s just easier. It isn’t the closed space where no one knows you exist, or geo-filters that you can’t edit, or having a dumb white border on a photo from your camera roll. Yes, I am annoyed by that white border, can you tell?

After going public as Snap Inc., they debuted the Snap Spectacles. This was supposed to be the flagship of the rebranded Snapchat Company. The glasses that resemble the infamous Google Glass that integrates right into the Snapchat app that allows you to capture snaps hands-free. These pair of glasses have proven to be irrelevant to Snap’s earnings.

And all of this leads to yesterday, where Snap Inc. led headlines after the news that their Q1 wasn’t what they had hoped; shares of their company took a beating after the first quarter since their IPO (more than 20 percent drop).

What We Learned 

It goes to show that Snap has been a little stubborn in their approach so far, and that Instagram did and continues to burn them. Instagram Stories simply gave what the people wanted and then some, Snapchat refused to change for the most part.

I find myself using Snapchat less and less, and finding myself watching Instagram stories even more. While Instagram’s isn’t perfect just yet, it has shown to take a massive dent out of Snap’s pie. It has become an either or situation.

What are your thoughts? Did you use Snapchat frequently before Instagram stories? Do you find yourself using Instagram’s new feature more? Do you even use these features? Let us know in the comments and make sure to check out Fstoppers’ Instagram in the meantime!

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9 Comments

Daniel Haußmann's picture

Since Instagram stories were launched I stopped uploading to SnapChat. I can reach 15x more people with these than with SnapChat (Although I must admit I was lazy to promoted my SnapChat account).

Wayne Denny's picture

The only people I personally know using Snapchat anymore are women, and only for the facial manipulation feature. I fully believe the only thing keeping Snapchat alive right now is this feature. As soon as IG can add a way for people to be changed into a cute cat, mouse, or whatever Snapchat will be DOA.

Nick Pecori's picture

Fair point it is true, the ladies love the "dog-face" feature! Haha

Lukas Petereit's picture

Instagram will beat Snapchat in the long run. They have more money, more users and the better concept for advertising (the most important aspect for such a platform). The current numbers of Snap proof that there success story will not last.

Michael Holst's picture

I think each will be used for different things. I use both heavily. Snapchat is just a funny way to communicate with my friends directly (most of them aren't creatives and I find it easier to send them funny videos or asking them to go golfing the next day easier) and the Instagram stories for my creative outlet. I do like how quick Snapchat seem to be compared to uploading stories on Instagram.

Nick Pecori's picture

I actually agree, I prefer Snapchat's texting over Instagram. Now that I think of it, I probably text more on Snapchat with my friends.

Boris Schipper's picture

I actually film on snapchat, put the filter I like, save to my camera roll and publish on Instagram stories, snapchat has allmost no importance in my marketing anymore.
I must say snapchat and I have never been great friends but instagram stories are working well for me

Aaron Bratkovics's picture

I would have sold that shit to them when they offered.

If you think about this from every point of view, you will find out that snapchat has something that instagram can not offer - privacy. And that's pretty much what teenagers (biggest advertising target) need when looking for a hookup... you send pictures, messages, and no one can track you down. Nobody sees who you friends with and so you can stay anonymous.

With Instagram, on the other hand, you are always risking to be exposed. Someone doesn't like you and they see all our followers and Facebook friends...
Maybe snapchat isn't that good at building public profile but when it comes to interpersonal communication it's way better than Instagram.

Instagram is not the only platform featuring stories now - Facebook and Russian VK follow their example too. However, one feature is not enough to build a real competition. Snapchat is way more than just live stories now.