As of June, Snapchat toppled Twitter in terms of daily active users, with Snapchat now boasting an average of 150 million daily active users. With 300 million daily users, Instagram is still crushing Snapchat, for now. And this may be the case for a while to come, because Instagram has now added a feature very similar to Snapchat’s disappearing stories. And at the moment, Instagram’s recent attempts to mimic the image-chatting app seem very well-played.
Snapchat did it first
While many millennials were allured by Snapchat for its image, video, and text messaging system that deletes itself (and doesn’t allow others to take screenshots without your knowledge), many users are now so hooked on the app that it is their new default means of communicating with their friends.
Yeah, Snapchat did it first, and Instagram clearly just copied it. But does that matter? Everyone loves Instagram for its simplicity, its myriad of filters and settings, and the sheer volume of activity. If it also does what Snapchat does, why bother using both?
Snapchat may remain a contender for a while because of the number of people that still use it (some people don’t like change), but also because of the interactive Snapchat filters that are always popping up. Who doesn’t enjoy puking rainbows or face-swapping with a friend in a recorded video?
Instagram’s attempt to stay relevant
Instagram has now launched a new feature of disappearing stories, says Tubefilter’s reporting: “Just as they can on Snapchat, Instagram users will be able to employ Stories to tell their followers what they got up to during a single day. Stories will pop out to cover the entire screen and will be controlled by swipes. Where Instagram’s offer differs most significantly from Snapchat’s is in the degree to which its Stories can be saved. If users like one element of their Story enough, they can promote it to a full post that will not disappear after 24 hours and will instead live alongside that user’s other photos and videos.”
In an interview with Variety, an Instagram representative said that these features are meant to give users more options. “People want more flexibility to share the moments between their highlights,” he said. “You don’t have to worry about over-posting.”
However you prefer to share your favorite videos and images captured playing Pokémon Go, you can feed your smartphone addiction with ephemeral posts. Perhaps though, one ought to worry a bit about over-posting. There is a whole world full of knowledge at your fingertips with your smartphone. Excitedly sending goofy videos to your friends for hours on end does give a bit of ammunition to the luddites who would claim smartphones are making us stupid.
Which one do I use?
In light of Snapchat’s defining feature being mimicked by Instagram, many users may be wondering which app they should stick with. Snapchat has a ton of really fun filters that Instagram doesn’t. It also allows you to choose who can see your stories. Instagram just shows them to the entirety of your followers. Snapchat even tells you if someone screenshots your story, so you know who has a permanent copy.
On the flip side, Instagram has many more users and is more popular among celebrities and models (and sharing a gallery of pics on dating apps that allow embedded Instagram links). Instagram also still has their original focus on simply sharing videos and photos on a timeline. It really comes down to your own personal preference.
For the time being, Snapchat is still the preferred millennial method of chatting, while Instagram is still where people go to see a gallery of photos. Only time will tell if Instagram manages to re-consume the market share Snapchat has gobbled up.