The launch of the new “Instagram-Stories” created great confusion among the users. With the new Instagram feature, you can now upload not only images and videos, but also publish whole live stories that are available for 24h. Sounds like Snapchat, right? It is the same! While old-established snap-chatterers are largely boycotting the service, critics are already predicting the downfall of Snapchat.
But how similar are the two app functionalities? Are there differences? Do you really need both? Let’s take a closer look into these questions:
What can Snapchat do?
The basic principle of Snapchat is simple: You can take photos and videos with maximum of 10 seconds length, share them with friends and they will be deleted after viewing. In addition, you can create a “story” in which the recorded videos and pictures are stored for 24h and are accessible to all followers. This makes it an ideal tool for bloggers to take their fans to events or travel and to give them live insights from their daily lives. This is mainly about the live character of the snaps. Snapshots and snapshots, which may sometimes look oblique or embarrassing, make the blogger even more personal and authentic for his followers.
On top of that, the tool offers a variety of filters and options that can be used to pimp up their snaps. Particularly popular are the facial filters, thanks to them, Snapchat has become popular. For instance, you can turn on the screen into a squirrel with a squeaky voice or smile with a beautiful flower wreath on the head, smiling into the camera. A funny pastime, which mainly provides entertainment for the viewers. For bloggers there is another advantage: for each individual snap you can see the exact views, which can also identify possible causes for bounces. Also the screenshots of individual snaps are displayed exactly, so that you have an ideal interaction basis with its followers. Admittedly, who uses Snapchat for the first time will have some big doubts and the user-friendly tutorial is really different. But once you have gone through, the use is very simple and fast.
What Instagram Stories offers?
The principle of Instagram “Stories” is identical to the one offered by Snapchat. The personal live stories are stored 24h and then deleted. So far so good. But unfortunately, the design possibilities are rather poor. We are missing funny icons, geofilter or facial filters. Initially only normal painting and text-making tools are available, which contribute only to a certain extent to customisation and enhance of the pictures. While Instagram usually shines with infinitely beautiful and aesthetic photos, the live stream with self-erasing content stands in still on an early stage.
We should take into consideration that the fast consumption of ephemeral content no longer requires perfectly staged photos or videos, a trend that has been dominated by Instagram. Technically, the photo sharing app has a clear advantage over Snapchat. While Instagram can share its story with all its existing followers, Snapchat needs to build a community. Especially for new snapchatter, this is not easy. And the total number of users is much higher in Instagram than in Snapchat. For bloggers who are just starting out, Instagram Stories is a great alternative to quickly share its content with all followers. But only in theory! Currently the reception of the live stories on Instagram is still limited, as the update has only been available recently and will be roll out progressively.
As a big advantage, the usability of Instagram app is much easier than the competition. The small button on the left in the corner offers the option to create their own story without being beaten by a camera view. A clear winning feature for the app. Interaction is possible, but not mandatory. With Snapchat, the viewers can react to individual posts and, then, get in contact with the story owner (if they have allowed this function in their settings).
So, what now…?
Currently, the Instagram function is still in their first steps and cannot keep up with Snapchat pace. But the app already has some good basic requirements to become “The next big thing”. A larger range of filters and icons would definitely be a good start, as it is just the little gadgets that made Snapchat so famous. Let’s give the Instagram feature some time to establish itself and see how Snapchat will react.
The potential option of integrating everything into one app is tempting for many people. Instagram would then be an app that combines everything – both the popular photo feed and the popular live stories. We are keeping an eye open with the progress and see how these channels could affect the future of influencer marketing.