It is a truth universally acknowledged that the first version of something often sucks.
[Image credit: iStock/Gareth PriceGFX]
How many of us still listen to a walkman on our commute, or use MySpace to keep up with our friends? None of us, and that’s because these products contained the seed of a good idea that someone else developed into a great product. Steve Jobs, in most cases (read – iPod, iPhone).
And so Snapchat joins the ranks of obsolete and outdated technology with the release of Instagram Stories. At least that’s the verdict across the marketing and tech communities. The consensus is: “Yes, Instagram has completely and unashamedly ripped off Snapchat, but what they’ve created is better”.
From a brand marketing perspective, Instagram has just made itself a lot more attractive as an advertising platform. Combining Snapchat’s instant video with Instagram’s extensive, sophisticated ads targeting techniques has already proved a winner for Nike. The brand’s debut Live Story video gained 800,000 views, whereas its best ever Snapchat video drove only 66,000 views.
Big number differences that no brands can ignore.
Instagram’s interface makes it a lot more appealing for brands too. It’s harder for people to find & follow accounts on Snapchat – you need to know the exact account name – search functionality is a lot better on Instagram.
Some other basic functionality improvements include; less confusing buttons & options about sharing your photos & an explicit ‘send message’ button, rather than a confusing swipe right to name a couple.
On a personal level I find Instagram Stories easier to use – it seems much more straightforward than Snapchat. Admittedly, that could be down to my age. I’m decidedly in the ‘Millennials’ rather than ‘Generation Z’ demographic. It’s also fun to see the more irreverent, less ‘instagram styled’, personal content stories throws up from brands & people I’ve been following for years.
It’s a competitive tech landscape out there (queue Twitter Moments), & common sense tells us that both Snapchat & Instagram can’t both survive whilst offering practically the same service. For the time being, it looks like Instagram is winning the battle to stay relevant.