There has been a lot of buzz in reaction to Instagram’s new ‘Stories’ feature. Similar to Snapchat, Instagram Stories allows users to upload images throughout the day to their story feed, which followers of that user can then view. The story images delete themselves after 24 hours to make room for a new story on a new day.
It’s easy to see the blatant similarities between Instagram Stories and Snapchat; many argue that it lacks originality. When confronted about the similarities, Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom responded by saying “They [Snapchat] deserve all the credit,” but insisted “This isn’t about who invented something. This is about a format, and how you take it to a network and put your own spin on it.”
This new feature is more than following a trend because it says something about Instagram – they are battling Snapchat for the top spot in mobile social media. Looking at the relationship between Instagram and Snapchat, it’s easy to see that while they have their slight differences, the two applications can easily appeal to the same type of people.
Instagram has and will likely never allow users to upload content from desktops because they want to be known synonymously with mobile and users who are ‘on the move’. Instagram is about capturing life into images and projecting them to a profile. As Snapchat rose in popularity, they took what Instagram offered and made it more in real-time. Some would say that Snapchat raised the bar and put the ‘social’ in ‘social media’.
When all is said and done, Instagram Stories appears to be more about supplying users with what they want for the ultimate social experience. Instagram’s goal is to dominate the mobile playing field and their latest move is also cohesive with their branding. Looking back, the same way Facebook adopted hashtags and trending topics (after Twitter) in an act to be more timely, Instagram came out with Instagram Stories to brand themselves as number one.
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