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Instagram ‘Stories’ takes on Snapchat at their own game
As the great Pablo Picasso once said – “Good Artists Copy, Great Artists Steal.”
With each social platform vying to become the most popular in an ever-developing realm of social media, the ‘borrowing’ of ideas is – according to Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom – commonplace. “This isn’t about who invented something”, he notes. “This is about a format and how you take it to a network and put your own spin on it”. Choice words from the CEO who just launched a copy-paste take of the previously unique Snapchat ‘Stories’ feature.
Up until this week, Instagram and Snapchat were operating in two distinctly different areas.
Snapchat, since its launch in 2011, has become an obsession for younger generations, where the idea of ephemeral, live content is its unique selling point. Instagram, on the other hand, is considered an image-sharing platform, where users share their artfully posed, aspirational photos of everyday life and view the similar, carefully constructed and heavily filtered images of their followers.
However, since its initial launch, Instagram has moved beyond the original ‘life on a square platform’ to become so much more than that; housing landscape and portrait imagery, videos, a private messaging service, acting as an advertisement platform, and as of August 2nd, a live blogging feature with the introduction of ‘Instagram Stories’.
Previously on Instagram, we would only get to see a carefully curated selection of images, as teens often deleted photos minutes after posting (if they didn’t immediately receive enough likes!). The result was a decline in average posts per user on the platform between 2013 and 2015, while Snapchat, with the launch of Stories, increased video consumption alone by 25% in a two-month period. And so this all starts to become clearer…Source: Custom Geofilters
Snapchat is attractive because of its real, live, and unedited nature, but it’s also these qualities that have deterred brands and marketers from engaging on the platform.
Enter Instagram, who has integrated this ‘liveness’ into a previously more editorial platform to arrive at the launch of Stories, which appears to be a ‘best of both’ scenario. With Stories, Instagram now integrates this ‘realness’ into the platform, along with additional advantages of wider audience, capability for content testing, flexible targeting, enhanced user experience and discovery capabilities, to further build its potential offering for marketers and brands. Below are five advantages that Instagram Stories offers for marketers.
Your Instagram follower is not the same as your Snapchat follower, and so to provide them with the same content would be to ignore this inherent difference. It’s the role of agencies and marketers to work to define these consumer profiles, understanding how individuals act across a variety of different platforms and to devise channel specific strategies on the basis of this understanding.
In the world of social media and the ongoing competition of Silicon Valley giants like Facebook and Snapchat, platform changes and updates are becoming increasingly frequent. Our role as marketers is to maintain speed with these changes, always producing new and innovative ideas to move our clients’ digital strategy forward. However, of equal importance is the close consideration required to do right by our clients through offering digital solutions which are best suited to their brand and their performance objectives.
There is much to be considered with the launch of this new feature and many questions left to be answered as it develops further, but this is undoubtedly a win for Instagram and the Facebook machine – which shows no signs of slowing.
— Zach Braff (@zachbraff) August 2, 2016