Hey There SnapGrammers!!
Have you seen the car commercial where the sales guy and the new car owner take a selfie, and the sales guy says, "Hey there Snapgrammers!" ? Turns out that wasn't a car commercial but rather a look into the future.
There was a lot of talk yesterday regarding Instagram's newest update that included a HUGE new feature that looked very familiar to anyone who's on Snapchat. According to their blog post, Instagram Stories will be rolling out globally over the next few weeks on iOS and Android. So, if you don't have it yet (I do), you should see it soon.
For the most part, people were not happy about this change—calling it a blatant ripoff of Snapchat, and while there is some truth to that, it's not the first time that Facebook (which owns Instagram if you're not aware) has blatantly copied one of their competitors. They did it with Twitter when they introduced the "trending topics" column as well as the 30 seconds that hashtags were searchable on Facebook. They did it with TimeHop when they gave you "On this Day." Sorry folks, that's not original; I've been seeing my social history on TimeHop for 6+ years—long before Zuck gave it to users.
Pretty much any new "feature" on Facebook is not new at all, but rather their attempt at either staying on top of the game or taking down the little(r) guy. Or both.
But why did they do it? Simple—it's numbers and demographics, and the fact that Snapchat is cleaning their clocks when it comes to popularity with the age group that they covet—the 18 to 25-year-olds. Reports in February showed that the number of Instagram users was over 500 million, and Snapchat weighed in at just shy of 200 million users; whereas, Facebook's largest demographic is 30 and over. Instagram is still extremely popular with the younger generation, and if they can get them to use Instagram the way they already do (by posting pictures) as well as incorporating the Snapchat-like feature, in the end, it helps the mothership Facebook.
Will it work? Honestly, I'm not sure, but I do think there are some positives for both marketers and users:
- It will appeal to “older” social media users (those over 30, let's say) who never understood or embraced Snapchat either because they just didn't “get it,” or they didn't want to add yet another social media channel to their routine.
- Many bloggers and influencers (like me) have a much larger following on Instagram than they do on Snapchat, and I think that's a huge plus for us as well as the brands who want to work with us.
- Most brands have a good number of followers on Instagram—not so on Snapchat. It will be much more seamless for them to start their own stories and (hopefully) get eyeballs on them.
- Ads have been more prevalent on Instagram than on Snapchat, and the “older” demographic is typically more likely to watch them. That 18 to 25-year-old demographic; they care 0% for your ad intrusion into their stream.
- You know that person or company that posts image after image after image without a break? Now they can use stories and clear up our Instagram stream! That, to me, is worth it alone :)
Like everything that changes on social media, the furor will die down soon, and before you know it, you'll be watching your friend's stories and probably starting a few of your own!
What are your thoughts on Instagram's new update?