Wednesday afternoon Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel announced major changes coming to the app by taking the "media" out of social media. Just nine months into Snap’s life as a public company, share prices fell 18% and the user growth rate slowed to its lowest ever. So why is this important?
This is in direct response to the growing popularity of Instagram Stories. Stories were unveiled late last year and have since taken off with new features being added regularly to rival the beloved features of Snapchat (who doesn't have a seflie using the dog filter?).
So which one is better for your business? Let's take a look at some pro's and con's for each platform.
Reputation- Snap has done an incredible job of overcoming it's original naughty reputation. The company went public, celebrities started adopting the platform, and it became an app where you could interact in a new and unique way.
GeoFilters- GeoFilters are like the modern day Pokemon (gotta catch 'em all?). They're personalized 'stamps' on photos. From towns, to businesses, and birthday parties to weddings, GeoFilters are uniquely designed and only certain people in a certain location can access them. Snapchat filters in general are awesome. The quality is so much better than IG Stories with far more options.
Personal connection- I think the best part about Snapchat is that it really is all about user-to-user interaction. Although it does advertising and hosts specific business accounts, it's clear Snap wants this to be the social media platform FOR the user BY the user. If someone chooses to follow you on Snapchat, watches all of your content, and interacts with you, chances are they are a die-hard and you're easily able to identify them.
Graphics- Instagram hasn't developed anything quite as sophisticated as far as GeoFilters. You can certainly tag where you are but without the fancy graphics. Filters on IG stories are also lacking but at only a little of 1-year-old, I suspect we're just seeing the beginning.
Impersonal- Although you can choose to send a story to just one person, that is not typically how most people use them and I think that is one big thing that people really love about Snapchat.
Larger audience- As of early November, Instagram Stories boasts 300 million daily active users. That nearly DOUBLES the amount of daily active users on Snapchat. Not only that, people don't have to be following you to watch your stories so you're able to reach far beyond your already captive audience.
Interaction & influence- Just like a regular Instagram posts, Stories encourage interaction and make direct messaging less creepy. When someone tags you in a story, you get notified and can shoot them a direct message. Instagram influencers have taken off in the last year and can create an instant buzz for companies with very little cost and effort (ie. send someone some free sample products in exchange for posts).
All-in-one- This is a big one for me. I'm sick of downloading apps. So the idea of having two apps that essentially do the same thing was nonsensical.
Facebook- The mother of all social media's purchased Instagram in 2012. Whether you love 'em or hate 'em, they know what they're doing and I believe that this is only the beginning for the future of Instagram and Instagram Stories.