With the latest update Instagram introduced Instagram Stories which to put it short is a blatant rip-off of Snapchat, we all know that, lets get on with it. I didn’t like it at first, Snapchat was my jam. But the more I kept using Instagram Stories, the more it grew on me and I believe these are the main reasons:
1 – The UI is slicker and sexier
It still surprises me how well they have integrated the new UI elements to the already excellent ones. The whole experience is seamless. Just a new bar under the navigation bar where you scroll horizontally, that’s it. Tap the circles to view your followers’ stories and once inside the story, tap once to skip to the next part of the story, swipe left or right to watch the next story or swipe down to return to your Instagram feed. To post a story yourself is just as easy, from the feed you just swipe left to right and a familiar UI will appear *cough Snapchat’s *cough, tap to share a photo or hold to share a video.
Everything is where it should be, the animations are flawless and all the elements have this modern slick look. Almost forgot, there’s a cool Instagram stories feature that allows you to upload content created within the last 24hrs from your smartphone camera roll. To do this, simply swipe downwards on the stories camera, and you’ll see the latest content from your camera roll appear at the top of your screen. From here, simply select the content you’d like to add to your story.
2 – Already a massive install base
Pretty much everyone already has an Instagram account from dogs, cats, little kids, my parents, your parents, the demographic is just boundless. As of June 2016 Instagram had around 500m monthly active users which eclipses the number of Snapchat users. However boasting about monthly active users doesn’t really work for what Instagram wants to achieve, they need daily active users. The first couple of days, it was a desert or at least my followers weren’t posting anything. That quickly changed and now people who have literally despised Snapchat are posting stupid selfies, cat videos and whatnot like crazy. I, myself, find it more comfortable now to post on Instagram than on Snapchat.
3 – Less battery drain
Now do not quote us for this, but in our case using Instagram for a week was more battery friendly than using Snapchat. Here’s a graph we created using the stats taken directly from the Battery Usage on an iPhone 6.
4 – A bright future
While it still lacks many minor things and some big ones unlike Snapchat, the guys and gals over at Instagram seem to be hard at work ripping-the-f*ck-off everything from Snapchat. Yesterday they launched an update where they added the zoom swipe while capturing a video and the double-tap the screen to switch between front and back cameras… So expect to say hello to the Smart Filters, 3D Stickers, Geostickers cause why not, at any day now. Of course we didn’t forget about the cherry on top, the cool Face Lenses. Yep, they are definitely coming, expect Zuckerberg to pop up on Facebook Live “announcing” the merging of MSQRD, which btw works fantastic, with Instagram.
However Snapchat will continue to exist and prosper as long as there are horny teens that have the urge to share their family jewels. One massive thing that Snapchat has got over Instagram is the whole instant message deal. Yes, Instagram has a direct message function, but no one uses it. Sending snaps directly to your Snapchat friends is fast, cool and a great way to socialise (or annoy) that Instagram currently lacks. Also Snapchat is kinda more private. If you are not a celebrity or a model, the only people that follow you are your few select real life friends while on Instagram, if you have a public profile, anyone can follow you and see your Story.
Another thing that Snapchat has that Instagram doesn’t is the Discover tab. While it may appear like a simple thing, there’s actual genius behind it. It’s a powerful marketing tool brands use to quickly get the word out to millions of users promoting their content and products. A win-win situation for both the users and brands. The same thing can be said about the Live Stories which are compilations of Snaps from Snapchatters at events and locations around the world. Live Stories are curated by Snapchat, and typically appear for 24 hours and the engagement is just bonkers.
So that’s why Snapchat will co-exist among titans cause it is a titan and we cannot wait to see what they are cooking for us!
What are your thoughts on Instagram’s Snapchat competitor? Are you using one or the other or both? Share your thoughts in the comments and I’d be excited to join the conversation.