A wave of angry speculation was released on Aug. 2nd when the second-most-popular social network among teenagers borrowed a major feature from the most-popular social network among teens.
Instagram announced the launch of a new service that allows users to post pictures or short videos that can feature stickers, doodles or several other accents. Button for button, affordance for affordance, the feature almost completely copies a Snapchat feature which is also called Stories.
In an article written by techcrunch.com, entitled: Instagram CEO on Stories: Snapchat deserves all the credit, posted yesterday by Josh Constine (@joshconstine), we learn that the CEO of Instagram, Kevin Systrom, is aware of the rip off as well. In his article, Josh writes,
“The one thing you never hear in Silicon Valley is an entrepreneur admit they copied someone else. Yet there in the headquarters of Facebook, the world’s most prolific product cloner, Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom surprised me.”
Stories vs. Stories
Let’s just go ahead and talk about it. Instagram’s own Kevin Systrom, may have all but admitted that Instagram basically copied the entire concept of Stories verbatim – however, Instagram’s Stories feature takes what Snapchat built and out-innovated them with their own spin on the storytelling interface.
Snapchat has always been a confusing interface to use. Some would argue that this is intentional, but adults frequently complain that they have no idea how to use the platform. Instagram took that confusing interface and did what it’s always done best: Made it useful to the masses, with a number of improvements that make it far more enjoyable to use.
Instagram Stories have all the fancy drawing features you’d find on Snapchat, but less buttons and options to get in the way of actually sharing your photos – like the very first version of Snapchat.
To reduce confusion Stories focuses on obvious, labeled buttons instead of swipes and offers information on where you are exactly in the app right now. There’s always context for what you’re looking at and where to go next, something that’s frequently lost in Snapchat.
Instead of swiping up on a Snapchat photo to send a quick reply, Instagram has an explicit ‘Send Message’ button that helps guide the way – all of these simple things add up to an experience that’s far more enjoyable.
Most powerful of all is Instagram’s current perch in the social world – it’s already got a network full of people actively using the app to make friends, follow new people and discover different parts of the world. That’s the killer feature Snapchat doesn’t have: the sense of community. <—Although, I and many other avid Snapchat users, may argue to the contrary.
Not To Disappoint: My Two Sense
As I mentioned on Snapchat this morning here are my predictions on the future of Snapchat and Instagram.
Before Reading Any Further…
IT IS WORTH KEEPING IN MIND THAT: You should always evolve. Never become too complacent and too comfortable with one platform if you’re serious about building your brand on social media. If you do, you’re leaving yourself very vulnerable when change comes.
HOWEVER: Consistency is key. Stick to what you’re good at. If you are of the mindset that Snapchat is a sinking ship, just remember that we all thought that about Twitter too.
Now That’s Out Of The Way – Prediction Time!
I believe that Instagram Stories will largely attract those users who would not have used Snapchat in the first place.
I believe that since Instagram is owned by Facebook, it will also attract a lot of businesses who wouldn’t understand why or how to use Snapchat for business.
With Instagram’s recent launch of Instagram for Business, and Facebook’s inherent problem with intrusive advertising, I feel the platforms younger audience users will eventually have to find a new space.
Will it be Snapchat? I don’t know. What I do know is that Facebook real estate is increasing while Snapchat’s real estate remains free to the creative user.
What DO YOU Think?
Join The Conversation and Tell Me About It!