Facebook first nudged its way into Snapchat’s territory with Facebook Live, a live video feature, but it didn’t capture the same raw essence it was seeking. Now, they have flat out copied Snapchat Stories and released an update for Instagram called Instagram Stories. It has text and drawing tools available exactly like Snapchat, although the drawing tool colors are bit different. The photo and video stories disappear after 24 hours, like Snapchat’s feature.
The Difference it Makes for Brands and Marketers
Instagram accounts with dedicated followers now have a direct delivery system instead of dealing with Instagram’s new feed algorithm. Stories sit at the top of each user’s feed and are in order of which friends are closest to you, as determined by an algorithm. There’s no complication of having to add or follow someone on Snapchat by entering their username or finding their Snapchat code. Users also don’t have to follow an account to watch a story if they stumble onto a profile. This gives your account top-of-mind space, but don’t fill it with low-quality content. You will likely get unfollowed.
You can test out new content ideas and receive private feedback from your followers. If you receive positive feedback, you can add the video to your profile. If not, that terrible idea is gone in 24 hours. This allows you to expand into new areas with an audience you have already built and can continue to build. You won’t have to start from scratch like starting a Snapchat account. Enjoy the free, organic story reach while you can. Instagram feed ads may have been the start of competing for the top stop in a user’s feed and could lead to promoted stories like Snapchat’s discover feed.
Why Instagram Stories Doesn’t Beat Snapchat
Snapchat touts that “on any given day, Snapchat reaches 41 percent of all 18-34 year-olds in the United States.” Instagram has a larger user base, but it is dedicated to photos. It’s a great app to waste some time looking at photos, to get quick updates from brands, or to see your friends or strangers showing off their lavish life. It still doesn’t feel raw and honest. Snapchat has been able to maintain the rawness of the app since the beginning to the many changes they have added over time.
Following a brand on Snapchat takes more dedication, meaning that user has a high loyalty or interest in what you are doing. Instagram is easy to follow, unfollow, place a profile for a bit and them move on. High quality content is still important here; just because it’s raw doesn’t mean you can post meaningless photos and videos. Know what your audience wants and deliver it to them. It’s a personal space to share yourself, and people enjoy that aspect.
As similar as the two apps have become, they are still different enough from each other. Facebook has tried to copy Snapchat with several different apps over the years, but Instagram Stories may be the closest they have gotten. Only time will tell what app prevails and which app makes a pivot to something new.
Elsewhere on the blog: