Why and How Instagram Has Not Killed Snapchat Yet?
It has been four months since the launch of Instagram Stories in August 2016, which sent the internet into a huge hysteria and speculation over the future of Snapchat. To everyone who is on social media, the latest update of Instagram seemed eerily similar to the social networking app Snapchat with 30 million monthly active users. In fact, the update wasn’t just eerily similar, it’s the exact same as Snapchat. Therefore, the hysteria and speculation was with good reason too as Instagram had pretty much replicated one of the main features of Snapchat and added it to their online photo sharing social network platform. Instagram's 500 million monthly active users are clearly hoping that their newly introduced ‘Stories’ will help them steal the Snapchat audience with its nearly identical upgrade.
Although Snapchat as a whole kept quiet during the days following the launch of Instagram Stories, some of snapchat's employees had some hilarious reactions to Instagram’s ‘copycat’ product. A Snapchat employee Tobias McGuigan busted out some solid hashtag sarcasm and said: ‘Congratulations to the team at Instagram. true #innovation’. Snapchat itself, however, released new news of advertising deals with global networks and brands - which was, in no doubt, to settle any rumours and settle any unrest amongst agencies and companies.
Many have predicted that the introduced Instagram Stories will cause Snapchat to have an imminent death. Not only this, many still think that Snapchat are doomed to fail vs Instagram. But for now Snapchat is still running and is still remaining successful. Wishbone App decided to poll its user base, which is accumulated of predominantly teens and young millennials aged 12-25 (Snapchat and Instagram’s targeted demographic), on their thoughts of the biggest social media battle. More than 30,000 users participated in the Snapchat vs Instagram battle poll. One of the most important questions they asked on the poll was if people will be deleting Snapchat since the introduction of Instagram stories. The result was that 75% will definitely not delete Snapchat and 25% would. This is great news for Snapchat and proves that it still is running and remaining successful.
Here are the reasons we think Snapchat hasn’t died yet:
Undeniably, Snapchat has a great celebrity status. Snapchat’s popularity is increasingly growing, more than they probably imagined, because of the mainstream attention that is given to certain celebrities’ Snapchat stories. The success has also helped stars reach a whole new demographic and a new level of fame.
Snapchat not only gives an insight into the life of certain celebrities, which we all sit in awe of, but it is also gives an insight into the person behind the fame, which is intriguing and engaging to most. For example, DJ Khaled is the biggest celebrity success story on Snapchat of all time, who has used Snapchat to showcase his personality in all its hilarious glory. The hip-hop producer has a cult Snapchat following that has landed him movie roles, endorsement deals and even a management deal with Jay-Z.
These celebrities bring their fans to the platform, and with Snapchat already having a strong demographic of young millennials and generation z, it most certainly explains why the celebrities lure are keeping users on Snapchat.
The Introduction of Tech + Products
This year in September, Snapchat announced they were changing their company name to Snap Inc. The reason behind the change of their name is because the company has decided to go in to a different direction, moving their brand from being strictly a social media app into a tech and product world. They have since developed their new product ‘Spectacles’, which is a pair of sunglasses that are integrated with a video camera that essentially makes it easier to create memories. They have created one of the smallest wireless video cameras in the world, which is fully capable of taking a days worth of Snap’s on a single charge. Not only this, it connects directly to Snapchat via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi and captures the human perspective to life with a 115 degree field of view.
The Snapchat blog post that discusses the change in the company name, to Snap Inc., also addresses that they aren’t just developing the Spectacles but are creating ‘products’. This also offers hope that Instagram is not destroying them just yet and there is much more to see from Snapchat in the future.
Something that Snapchat is also renowned for is their creative and innovative filters, which if you haven’t heard or seen then you probably have been living under a rock. Selfie’s with a Snapchat filter are even being seen on the likes of Instagram. The filters range from the ridiculous to the sublime and they have even introduced ones that change the room around you. One filter in particular that is the most popular and captured the hearts of Snapchatters everywhere is the ‘butterfly crown’ filter that makes just about anyone look a million dollars. More importantly, the use of augmented reality is a big attraction for the users of Snapchat.
At the moment, Instagram does not have filters that are similar to Snapchat's, which is a huge differentiator between the two. This influenced the Wishbone App to raise the question - If Instagram Stories introduced filters would that encourage Snapchatters to delete the app and cross over? The poll, which was targeted at the Snapchat Vs. Instagram Battle and attracted 30,000 users to participate in, had very staggering results. Nearly HALF, 43%, said they would delete Snapchat, whereas 57% said they would still stay with Snapchat. Although Instagram are standing a good chance, this still displays that Snapchat are winning the war!
Snapchat will forever be the social media platform that entices a young demographic to use. Therefore, for businesses it works really well when they need to reach a target audience of younger people. For example, Cadbury recently utilised Snapchat to promote Crunchie to Snapchatters, fully integrating with the platforms filters feature. Here at UNBXD, we also utilised Snapchat and its filter feature for Prime Burger Company. As a business, we knew that this would attract the younger demographic to come to the restaurant and it was extremely successful.
Snapchat’s demographic is the foundation and lifeblood of the social media platform and the core of its user base. So as long as Snapchat remain ahead of the game in creating features and focusing on user experience - the audience will remain engaged and away from Instagram.
Social Media Boxes
Instagram has been placed in a box, just the same as Facebook, Snapchat and Twitter. These boxes are metaphorical and describes what each different platform represents. For example, Facebook is renowned for displaying personal life events, Twitter for news and quick chains of thought, Instagram for inspirational photos and storing your own photos and Snapchat for live in the moment content. Snapchat were first to carve out a niche with their audience in creating an app that demonstrates snippets of your life, whether it be video or photo content. Whereas Instagram are renowned for showcasing and sharing photos. Instagram are trying to muscle their way into the Snapchat niche, which is clearly displayed through the replicative stories they have created. Yet, it is safe to say that Snapchat is still winning because Instagram is renowned for an entirely different representation.
Although Snapchat has won the battle, Instagram have entirely different features that Snapchat will not be able to accomplish due to their demographic. For example, Instagram are constantly creating things that will benefit businesses, which I spoke about in the blog post here. Again, something new Instagram has introduced is the ability to tag websites. This again is beneficial for businesses. Right now, Snapchat is still in the running and seems to using the Instagram Story introduction as a means of taking their platform down a new direction. Whereas Instagram are seemingly becoming more business-like. Only time will tell whether Instagram wipes out Snapchat but it is highly doubtful due to their new tech/product direction and for being renowned for their innovation.