Instagram recently announced a new feature called Instagram Stories that looks, smells, feels and behaves a LOT like Snapchat!
The new Stories feature empowers users to share their favorite moments in 10-second increments
of video and photos into a story that gets compiled and stored right within their Instagram profile. Viewers of the profile not only see the stories of the people and brands they follow at the top of their Instagram app, but they can also easily view the story when clicking on the profile picture of any Instagram user.
These stories are non-intrusive and do not currently appear in the standard feed for Instagram users. Instead, people can easily choose to watch or ignore the Instagram Stories of the people they follow.
Similar to Snapchat, the Instagram stories only last 24 hours. It’s a snooze or lose type of viewing engagement. If you miss it, you miss it.
Snapchat turned down an offer to sell out to Facebook in the past and now it appears this is Facebook’s way of coming back and kicking Snapchat straight in the shins, or maybe the face.
Snapchat has done an amazing job at capturing the hearts, minds and eyeballs of teens and millennials. Many other social networks envy Snapchat with this demographic.
However, where Snapchat has struggled is expanding the demographic as well as presenting a solid value proposition that is both affordable and understandable for brands working in the business to business (B2B) space.
There are simply too many choices when it comes to where people and brands can invest their time. Smart marketers know they must focus where their customers are hanging out online, not where the fun and the hype of the internet tell them to invest their hard earned dollars.
Unfortunately for Snapchat, Instagram Stories launches at a time I believe many brands were / are on the fence about investing in Snapchat. Our agency, Marketing Nutz, works with brands both large and small and I can tell you we have numerous clients in this situation. With the launch of Instagram Stories, I predict many brands who were “sitting on the fence” with Snapchat, may very well head on over to Instagram instead. Could this deliver fall over adoption from Instagram Stories to Snapchat? Only time will tell.
Snapchat has struggled since day one with discovery. Building community and followers on Snapchat is difficult for both brands and people like you and me.
It’s become the wild wild west with brands and users of Snapchat begging their audiences to follow them on Snapchat. It reminds me of the early days of Facebook where brands were desperate begging for likes and follows. It didn’t take social savvy marketers long to learn that it’s not just about the “like”, it’s what happens after the like that matters most. Brands must give their audience a reason to follow them, a reason to do more than simply click the like button.
This is an area I strongly believe Instagram has an immediate advantage over Snapchat. Brands have already invested in community and relationships on Instagram. Discovery is built into the platform with hashtags, search and the list goes on.
You can’t argue with the fact that Facebook owns Instagram and features such as the advertising platform are integrated. Marketers don’t have to go to a 2nd platform for advertising on Instagram. It’s build into their Facebook business manager and ad manager platform. This enables brands to easily “test the social advertising waters” without a lot of extra time invested to learn another platform. Win win for Facebook and Instagram obviously.