Battle of the Social Media Platforms: Instagram vs Snapchat

On Monday August 1, 2016, Instagram initiated the first shot aimed at fellow competitor Snapchat by simply ripping a page from its playbook. Instagram, known as a photo sharing app, revealed a new feature called “Instagram Stories” in which lets users post temporary photos that vanish after 24 hours; a feature very similar to Snapchat’s Live Stories. According to The Wall Street Journal, the move took place in order for Instagram to encourage its 500 million users to post more often.

But upon making the move, Instagram also took the initiatives in out-innovating Snapchat with its own spin on the storytelling interface. It seems the company took in consideration some of Snapchat’s weaknesses in order to create a better product. For example, the new feature provides hints throughout the interface making the process simple for not-so-savvy users to understand. In addition, it provides less buttons, swipes, and options which tend to get in the way of sharing photos as well as cause all sorts of confusion. Last but not least, the new feature saves time and hassle of switching apps (from Instagram to Snapchat and vice versa).

Instagram is a social media platform which lets its users post desired photos and videos in order to share them among an audience of friends and family members. Basically, think of it as a digital photo album where one can digitally upload his or her own collection of photos and videos. On the other hand, Snapchat is platform which only lets its users post temporary photos and videos. They can either be displayed through Live Stories or sent as direct messages. After a 24-hour exposure, the photo or videos disappear.

Despite their different functions, Snapchat has recently gained traction over Instagram when it comes to the amount of users, especially teen users. According to the Piper Jaffray survey of American teens, 28% of more than 6,530 teens polled claim Snapchat as their top social media app, Instagram with only 27%. This outcome forced Instagram to take initiatives. The recent gained traction proves Snapchat to be a worthy rival. Yet, in recent months, Instagram users have been spending more time within the app posting photos and videos. However, Instagram is not willing let its guard down thus will not ignore what seems to be a possible threat.

In response, what is Snapchat going to do? So far, it has declined to comment but surely, it will not stand aside with both arms crossed. In retaliation, Snapchat must first reevaluate its SWOT analysis before making any further decision. It seems a battle of the platforms has begun. Who will remain on top? Both social media platforms do not want to become the next long forgotten Myspace.

 

References

Seetharaman, Deepa. “Instagram Takes Aim at SnapChat, Unveils Similar Photo-Share Feature.” The Wall Street Journal [New York] 3 Aug. 2016, Business & Tech sec.: B4. Print.

Williams, Owen. “Everyone Says Instagram Stories Copied Snapchat – but It’s Got a Killer Feature.” The Next Web. MAXCDN, 3 Aug. 2016. Web. 3 Aug. 2016. <http://thenextweb.com/opinion/2016/08/03/everyone-says-instagram-stories-copied-snapchat-but-its-got-a-killer-feature/&gt;

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