Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) owned Instagram says that users will now have the power to constantly update their followers with videos and photographs throughout the day. You can post unlimited content, add text, effects and filters. The new directive is the result of a new feature Instagram recently introduced — a feature called “Stories,” a feature that makes the app less like the old Instagram and more like — well — Snapchat.
Introducing Instagram Stories
“With Instagram Stories, you don’t have to worry about overposting. Instead, you can share as much as you want throughout the day — with as much creativity as you want,” the Instagram team wrote in a post on the company’s official bog. “You can bring your story to life in new ways with text and drawing tools. The photos and videos will disappear after 24 hours and won’t appear on your profile grid or in feed.”
Right until the beginning of August, there seemed to be nothing wrong with Instagram until the site seemed to go through an identity crisis launching Instagram Stories — a feature that’s almost identical to Snapchat. Since its launch, Stories has looked nothing like Instagram but everything like Snapchat. Indeed, the main characteristic is nearly identical: users are able to share videos and photos that automatically disappear after 24 hours.
The launch of Stories has led to mixed reactions from different quarters with some insinuating that by lifting the “Stories” feature from Snapchat, Instagram has inadvertently diluted its brand and made itself less distinct.
As Mashable observed:
“Instagram is becoming a bloated everything app because the cool kids aren’t on Facebook. Facebook is skating to where the eyeballs are, which is Instagram, in order to slay Snapchat.”
“From this moment on, things will never be the same for Instagram.”
Instagram vs. Snapchat
Some of the public reactions by Snapchats employees are just hilarious. Snapchats’s product designer Jack Brody for instance made fun of Instagram on Twitter comparing the Facebook owned company to Melania Trump (who allegedly plagiarized Michelle Obama’s speech). Here’s Broy’s tweet:
— Jack Brody (@jackdbrody) August 2, 2016
Nonetheless, whether Instagram copied Snapchat or not, the latter should be worried about the implementation of Instagram Stories since Instagram is a significant player in the social media market boasting 300 million daily active users against Snapchat’s 150 million users.
For companies and businesses that use social media in their campaigns, the number of users that they can engage in a platform is crucial. Already, there are companies that have tested Stories with highly positive results. Nike, for instance, shared a picture on Instagram Stories which hit 800,000 views. If this is anything to go by, it is an indication that other brands — even SMB’s — should be able to advertise their products using Stories.
On the other hand, people who are already using Snapchat will probably continue to use it. With some loyal users even boycotting Instagram altogether.
Lesson to businesses: You can never have a monopoly on an idea. If you seek to launch a new product or give a unique service, do it now. Even if another brand later jumps on the bandwagon, being first on the scene still counts for something.