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!