Instagram Stories is now more popular than Snapchat and depending on how you see it, it could be framed as a success story or a huge blunder. It’s very impressive that Facebook and its Instagram Stories feature has accumulated over 200 million daily users since launching last August. On the other hand, it’s an embarrassing setback for Snapchat (who has 168 million daily users) because Instagram Stories was an outright clone of itself.
When Stories launched, it wasn’t impressive at all, being merely a pure replica of Snapchat, but without the geo stickers and basic dog face filters. People mocked Facebook and its abrupt marketing rollout of the feature, practically force feeding us Stories, but it, hey, worked. Why use two different apps when you’re able to accomplish the same tasks with one? It’s the primal rule of efficiency and ultimately logical beings who use both Instagram and Snapchat converged on Instagram.
Was Snapchat feeling itself too much, becoming overconfident in its then sturdy position as the choice micro-video platform, especially among the young demographic? Brands were pouring in advertising dollars. DJ Khaled revitalized his career with it. However, over time, the company wasn’t innovating its product ( its Spectacle glasses have been a flop).
In the jungle of competitive business, especially in the ever evolving tech industry, imitation and improvement isn’t a new concept. How many first movers have fallen victim to competitors that simply did what they did better (i.e. Friendster)? It’s survival of the fittest and constant improvement and innovation are keys to success, while feeling comfortable can signal the start of your demise. Snapchat should’ve been first to conquer live streaming video. It hasn’t made any progress in this, while Facebook is making its mark in this channel.
This bad news probably doesn’t sit will for Snapchat shareholders who bought into the company when it IPO’d in early March. As valuable users shift to Instagram Stories, brands will also reallocate their marketing budgets.