Why Instagram’s new ‘Stories’ feature will kill Snapchat

by | Aug 3, 2016

Instagram announced yesterday via a blog post that they were introducing Instagram Stories as a new feature in an update for users. And as this new feature is an exact copy of Snapchat’s format, Instagram will kill Snapchat.

Snapchat lets users post videos and pictures in 10 second short reels that are compiled into an album of sorts that self-erases after 24 hours and that is exactly what Instagram’s Stories comprises.

It was even more shocking that they did not just rip the format but also went ahead to take the name; now there’s Snapchat Stories and Instagram stories.

Instagram is not even joking

Unlike other feature upgrades that take a while to get to some parts of the world, the Instagram Stories on the Google Play Store was available for everybody at the same time; even though it’s not fully functional for me yet.

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Google Play Store update

Google Play Store update

On ripping the format, Kevin Systrom, CEO of Instagram did not deny it, he even said in an interview that even though Snapchat deserved credit it wasn’t about who built what, but taking a great format and putting an individual spin on it.

Facebook invented feed, LinkedIn took on feed, Twitter took on feed, Instagram took on feed, and they all feel very different now and they serve very different purposes….Snapchat adopted face filters that existed elsewhere first, right? And slideshows existed in other places, too. Flipagram was doing it for a while.

That is a really valid point from Instagram’s CEO. Most of the formats and programs being implemented in tech nowadays are modified versions of a pre-existing blast from the past. But I am afraid.

Snapchat will die

In June, Instagram announced they had more than 500 million users on the photo-sharing social network and 300 million were Daily Active Users that log on and interact with the platform on an every day basis.

According to Bloomberg, sources close to the grapevine in Snapchat authoritatively confirmed they had 150 million Daily Active Users in June. And this number was an uptake from 110 million in December; barely six months interval. At the time, Snapchat looked like a worthy opponent but with this new turn of events, they may just die.

Snapchat’s User Interface is still its number one Achilles heel as up till this moment, many techies and technologically inclined people I know still cannot navigate the app effectively.

Even though this complicated Snapchat is getting better by the day, Instagram’s simple interface combined with the only feature that makes Snapchat unique will see users migrating en masse.

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In 2013, Mark Zuckerberg offered to buy Snapchat for $3 billion and Evan Siegel the CEO of Snapchat turned down the offer. Maybe he should have sold at the time.

But again, Instagram’s privacy policy that does not allow nudity might hamper its leapfrog over Snapchat; only time will tell.

Victor Ekwealor
Victor Ekwealor

tech. media. startups. africa. vc | Twitter: @victor_ekwealor


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