The Instagram-Snapchat rivalry continues. Now available in Instagram Stories is the ability to create a selfie sticker and then pin the stickers to your videos. In addition Stories is expanding access to its geo-stickers. Adding to the rivalry. What’s interesting about these two services is that the number of Snapchat users was estimated around 161 million per day, in February. Whereas it’s estimated that Instagram Stories has exceeded 200 million users per day. Passing Snapchat in only a matter of months after it launched last summer.
Instagram has been doing a really good job of keeping on top of the Snapchat advancements, in an attempt to bring more users to its platform. But do these features make Instagram more appealing? Originally built as a way to show off your photos, Instagram has quickly transformed itself into a whole “other beast”. From adding the ability to create and share videos, to Stories, to these new sticker features. It’s only a matter of time before it is the same, or similar to Snapchat. Right?
Well, I kind of hope not. I like the video capabilities within Instagram, but I honestly have no intention of using the stickers features. And maybe it’s just me. I just had a conversation with an old friend about our high school days, so I am feeling my age. And as someone who doesn’t use Snapchat, maybe I’m not the best person to talk about this. But I don’t think that Instagram should turn into Snapchat. First of all, Snapchat is kind of an instant messaging app. Or at least that seems to be the main premise behind it. Sure, its quite different than your traditional way of messaging, but the idea is still there. The big pull for Snapchat originally seemed to be the fact that the messages would expire after viewing. Which gave it a bit of a bad impression as I don’t think the kids were using it in a wholesome way.
Either way, I don’t understand why Instagram is heading in this direction. Maybe it’s because I’m the only person who doesn’t like or use Snapchat, and my opinion isn’t valid. Despite what I think, it does seem like there is a market for this, and if Instagram was able to get over 200 daily users in a matter of 9 or so months, then I think they should keep doing it. Unfortunately, you might start to see some (older) people stop using it. I realize that I don’t have to use the functions, and I doubt I will. But the features are still there, and I feel like I might search out a different way to share my photos with my friends and family.
That being said, I’m not saying that it shouldn’t move in this direction. I’m always very supportive of organizations finding these niches and figuring out how to capitalize on it. But only if it’s what the users want. And I think in this case, it is. Otherwise, we wouldn’t be having this conversation and they wouldn’t be leaving Snapchat in the dust when it comes to competition. Like I said, Instagram is currently crushing Snapchat… but like I’ve said in other articles, this might give Snapchat a leg up. Meaning, they might be able to take the information from Instagram users and figure out what new features they need to add. Unfortunately, what will happen is that they will keep leap frogging until someone comes up with something completely different, or a new product comes along. Until then… which do you prefer?