On August 2nd, Instagram took a huge bite out of Snapchat by adding the new “Stories” feature. This major development is clearly a carbon copy of Snapchat’s evolutionary platform.
Instagram’s Stories allows users to post short videos and photos that exist for a span of 24 hours. It is a comparable application to Snapchat, which is a famous ephemeral app that is mainly popular for its 24-hour video and chat tales, facial recognitions and image filters. The features that Instagram released are almost identical to Snapchat from its very theme and vernacular.
Back in 2015, advertisers began to anticipate potential opportunity for marketing on Snapchat with image and branding. The idea of Snapchat gave way to more interactive experiences than Facebook and YouTube (which advertisers believed users commonly watched inertly). Snapchat does not contain traditional ad-targeting tools and is continuously searching for ways to attract bigger brands. While they’re still developing their bouncy infrastructure and competing against major rivals—Now This! Instagram has nearly replicated their services!
What does this mean for marketers? The CEO of Instagram, Kevin Systrom, discussed the latest development with TechCrunch and said that, “this is about a format, and how you take it to a network and put your own spin on it. Facebook invented feed, LinkedIn took on feed, Twitter took on feed, Instagram took on feed, and they all feel very different now and they serve very different purposes.” Instagram’s owner, Facebook, took note of how other social networks adapted their feed and decided to flip the script by incorporating Snapchat’s strengths into one mobile first platform: Instagram.
Where Snapchat advertising had astronomical cost and exclusivity, Instagram is self-servicing, leaving marketers wondering how advertising will look via Instagram stories. Instagram’s new interface allows for both stories to be displayed at the top of your screen, while in-feed photos and videos appear in your timeline below, without ever having to switch off to another platform, creating a more dynamic means for distributing content. It fulfills the concept of organic experience building between users and brands in a more interpersonal relationship and is even easier for users to follow a brand, watch their stories and like their post. In addition, there are more opportunities for exclusive behind the scenes video clips, contests, giveaways and other incentives rather than the usual photo upload.
While we are in favor of this astonishing feature that Instagram impenitently “borrowed,” there’s still speculation about its forthcoming progressions. What will happen with Snapchat? Will new Instagram stories be as affective as anticipated? How will this influence other social media platforms? What will sponsored Instagram stories look like? Will Instagram add those fun filters that Snapchat is synonymous with? Instagram has yet again proven that it is a force to be reckoned with and only time will tell what’s next for this photo-sharing tycoon.