Instagram came out with disappearing messages and live video on their still-new ‘Stories’ feature. This has been out in the update for 48 hours and already it’s caused a lot of discussion in the world of content marketing and Snapchat / Instagram for business.
Of course, the first opinion everybody voiced was “THEY’RE COPYING SNAPCHAT AGAIN” referring to the release of Instagram Stories earlier this year. As much as I’m not a fan that this is happening in this way, it was predictable. As much as I am in love with Snapchat, I think they are a little slow to reacting to what is happening right now. Or so I thought.
Snapchat didn’t seem too fazed when Instagram challenged them with their new update earlier this year, but the market still though some huge retaliation would take place. This, as many many people predicted, was going to happen via the release of live video from Snapchat. Everybody believed that. It was the ‘next big move’. And what do you know, Instagram got there first. In the meantime, Snapchat were working on some sparkly yellow glasses, with a camera in the corner. A part of me is thinking what are they doing, why are they skewing off in a direction where no one else is heading. And the other half is thinking, this is awesome, they are skewing off in a direction where no one else is heading. It’s almost as if Snapchat are trying their best to stay in that 14–25 demo, bringing out sparkly hardware. It makes sense, right? I honestly think, and this is a genuine opinion, that Snapchat will be diving into becoming a lifestyle brand much more in the coming months, rather than just a social media platform. By that I mean a lot more time and resources will go into developing products, as opposed to services. The Spectacles being exhibit A. We have seen many brands branch out into selling things from the entirely other end of the spectrum, and with Snapchat holding such a powerful and digital-first niche market (mainly millenials) they have to move forward with the highest market. What’s next then? A Snapchat jacket? Footwear? Lifestyle accesories and daily essentials? Phone accesories? Phone power-packs? All highly possible. All hitting a target market and age group that Instagram has already moved past.
As much of a believer I an in Snapchat for business, I am forced to use Instagram stories far more than Snapchat. But more about this soon, as this is a whole other can of worms in my opinion.
To make a long-ish story short, Instagram won’t kill of Snapchat, and Snapchat wont kill of Instagram. To me, they are heading in two very different directions, and are currently crosspathing as a result of it. I certainly know that keeping an eye on both is essential for the next 48 month, as it is super interesting what is happening in this space right now.