Since its launch back in 2012, Snapchat has experienced constant growth with its niche offering compared to the other established social media platforms, allowing us to share moments via video or images with our friends that disappeared as quickly as they were created. Sharing a snap came free with pressure to create that perfectly crafted post, but instead focused on just the sharing and connecting aspect, which enchanted millions.
However, with the launch of Instagram Stories, which is at its core a clone of the Snapchat system, the platform is now facing a degree of competition that it's never experience before. With a big player like Instagram breaking into Snapchat’s niche market, does Snapchat have enough to offer its users to last? Today you’re social media gurus here at Adwizar are going to see if Snapchat has what it takes to stick around, or if it’s on its way out.
Snapchat as a social platform is fairly simple: picture and video sharing in a direct message format to individuals or groups. With the addition of things like filters, stickers, and lenses that change your face or swap it with others, it continued to keep people entertained. Unfortunately, this simplicity is an element of its own downfall.
Looking at Instagram Stories, more features continue to be added on a regular basis, with some that it shares with Snapchat, and others that are entirely its own. Things like filters and stickers provide users with a core experience similar to Snapchat, Stories also allows its user to implement timers, geotags, and the ability to tag friends using their Instagram handles. While we don’t know what kind of features Stories will add next, the likelihood is that it will continue to evolve at a faster rate compared to Snapchat, which will attract and retain more users in the long run.
While we just mentioned Snapchat being simple in terms of its features, that doesn't always mean that it’s always easy to use. For many, knowing the ins and outs of Snapchat was something that you eventually earned after using the app and discovering new things, but this also meant that many other users were left in the dark about how to use Snapchat to its fullest potential, instead of using only a handful of features.
With Stories, Instagram wanted to avoid this, so with every new feature that they launch is an accompanying instructional video on how to use it, making the platform itself much more usable. On top of that, stories is Snapchat system, but seamlessly integrated into an existing social platform that people already know and love. A user’s Story feed is tucked neatly away right above their normal Instagram feed, making Stories more of an enhancement or added feature that is surprisingly robust.
Putting features and user-friendliness aside, it all comes down to users right? A platform that has a the largest amount of daily active users typically has the advantage, and unfortunately for Snapchat, Instagram Stories has passed them in that department too.. According to reports from the first quarter of 2017, Snapchat’s daily active user count was 166 million, while Stories has climbed to 250 million daily active users in just the one year since it’s release. That’s not even counting the 500 million daily active users on Instagram as a whole; we’re talking only Stories, and Snapchat is still getting beat.
Since the release of Instagram Stories, the growth rate of Snapchat’s monthly active users rate has dropped from 17.2% down to 5% per quarter. However, while it seems like Instagram Stories seems to have dominated what used to be Snapchat’s niche market, the numbers are still showing that Snapchat is actually growing, albeit much slower than before. It’s still to early in the game to tell if this spells the end for Snapchat. It’s very well possible that Snapchat could have something in the works in order to differentiate their offering enough to stay relevant, or even find a new niche. We’ll just have to wait and see, so make sure you check back with us here at Adwizar for the latest news and updates in the world of social media.