Instagram stories – a threat to Snapchat?

As Instagram release their latest update, we can’t help but see some familiarities with another well-known social media platform – Snapchat.

The idea behind Instagram stories is that instead of posting images directly onto your feed, you post them onto a timeline attached to your profile picture. It is by clicking on this thumbnail that you can then watch an entire person’s day through an array of images. Sounds similar to Snapchat stories, right?

Just like Snapchat’s story feature, your Instagram story also lasts up to 24 hours and then disappears with no trace of the images previously uploaded. This was Snapchat’s main point of difference in the market, and one of the reasons it took off and gained such popularity, away from other image sharing sites in the first place.

It can also be noted that Instagram offer the same types of analytics as Snapchat when monitoring who has seen your story and how many people have viewed it whilst also featuring the same swipe up to comment feature.

As you look further into the new Instagram Stories feature however, it’s plain to see that there are a few upgrades to this already thriving idea with more creative opportunities being one of them.

The main differences to be noted about Instagram’s stories in comparison to its rival’s are that there are more colour and brush features to play with when it comes to decorating an image, there is the ability to pause the story or to skip back to a previous images/videos, and you don’t have to be connected to someone to be able to view their stories – you just have to simply follow them.

From a digital marketing point of view, Instagram stories also gives marketers already active on the platform the chance to try the stories feature with their existing following, rather than set up and build an entirely new audience on Snapchat.

The future of ‘stories’ remains to be seen, but clearly Instagram, owned of course by Facebook, has seen Snapchat’s immense rise in popularity and wanted to develop something similar for their platform. Whether this will urge Snapchat to fight back with their own updates to differentiate their platform is not get certain.