7 Reasons Snapchat Will Slap Instagram Stories Right in the Mouth
In my last article, I shared some painful realities: 7 ironclad reasons Instagram stories are superior to Snapchat. Instagram does have some competitive advantages. That being said I do feel Snapchat is going to walk up and B**** slap Instagram across the face—both in the market and possibly for intellectual I.P. stealing.
Deeper Market Penetration with Teens
In my completely unscientific method of asking random teens what they think about Instagram stories, the response is universal. Meh… Teens just don’t give AF (if you don’t understand what AF stands for, you are prolly not a teen).
Luckily the research backs me up.
They don’t care that Instagram now has a stories feature, they care about chatting with their friends. Their friends are on Snapchat and staying on Snapchat. They want to continue to share photos on Instagram and curate this lifestyle they live. They’ll continue playing the game to see just how many likes a photo will get.
Snapchat first and foremost is a messaging platform.
It is designed to make it easy to communicate with the people around you that you care about. Teens LOVE Snapchat not for the stories feature, they only care about what their friends are doing. They care about the real-time communication and silly photos.
If you contrast that core functionality to Instagram’s core functionality, you can see a drastic difference. Instagram is about taking and sharing photos over sharing messages with friends. Sure you have the ability to share messages but Instagram is all about the photos and lifestyle.
Instagram is here to make us (the user) better photographers. Snapchat is designed to make communication with friends easy.
Market Interest and User Attention
These are are some recent stats when it comes to Snapchat:
- There are more than 100 million daily active users
- Snapchat still has a mostly young audience, with only 14% of their audience falling outside the millennial category
- Up to 8X the amount of US 13-34 year-olds watch live stories of an event vs. the same event on TV
- There are more than 8 billion video views every day on the platform
The market has spoken and they are paying attention to Snapchat. Instagram recreating a few features doesn’t guarantee they will take attention away from Snapchat. Some experts have talked about how Facebook killed Myspace and this is going to be the same event. The difference though from someone who used both platforms goes back to the management of the two.
Facebook was willing to do what is called “white space management.” Whereas Myspace was not.
Snapchat learned from Myspace and is more than willing to listen to the market and react to what it wants. They have tested a number of different advertising models, features, and have been willing to drop them too.
Creating a Unique IP for Advertising
Advertising is always looking for new and exciting ways to get products to the right customers. When the Internet first started, Google did something revolutionary. It created a new type of advertising where people who were looking to make purchases, were feed ads.
Facebook’s advertising through Marketing Heaven is a juggernaut in the social media world. It also has revolutionized how advertisers approach business. Instead of having a high intent to buy, Facebook looks at all the likes and dislikes of a person and feeds ads based on preferences. People now buy products they didn’t even know they wanted because some smart marketer targeted them with the perfect product.
Snapchat has the making of the next revolutionary advertising platform. Snapchat can read objects in videos and determine what they are. This means that if you snap yourself drinking a Starbucks beverage, Snapchat can read the logo. Subsequently, they’ll serve Starbucks ads to you because it’s obvious that you have an interest in Starbucks.
Honestly, I don’t know how this could change the purchasing behavior of the market but it is extremely interesting. I turn it over to you, how would you think that type of advertising will affect the market. Leave your thoughts in the comments section.
Native Guerrilla Marketing
Snapchat’s number one growth mechanism for users goes by many names. Snapcode, QR code< “Boo-R” code… whatever you call it, this feature is amazing. Your Snapcode is a user-specific, unique QR code that if scanned in Snapchat will find a user and add them.
This is what a Snapcode looks like:
- Grab your phone and take a photo of this code.
- Open Snapchat and tap add friends
- Click on Add by Snapcode and tap the photo of this code
Snapchat has been the only company to successfully utilize QR codes en mass. This feature has been recreated by Facebook but the market hasn’t responded in the same way. Snapchat doesn’t have an in-app discovery mechanism. This has led smart marketers to move into guerilla marketing campaigns for Snapchat.
Those smart marketers have taken their Snapcode and created stickers. Slapping those stickers all around high traffic areas to generate more followers. Millennials seeing random Snapchat stickers add the person and find a new friend to follow.
Instagram will never have this sort of guerilla marketing because they natively have amazing discovery built into the app.
Face-stagram is established. Zuckerberg is by far one of the most brilliant entrepreneurs and marketers of our generation and I do not underestimate him in the least bit. That being said, Evan Spiegel is a very smart rebel. He is building an alternative to Facebook and people are looking for it. Spiegel is also the “underdog”… ok an underdog with a $20 billion valuation.
Spiegel knows that if he does nothing Zuckerberg will walk in and slowly rip him apart. That is why I believe Spiegel is more nimble than Zuck because his business and life are on the line. Spiegel will continue to listen to the market and adapt to keep user attention.
Over the course of the next 16 months, you will see punch and counter-punch thrown by these two juggernuts. In the end, neither will beat the other but an equilibrium will form. Like the great battle between Mac and PC of the 1990s.
Snapchat has something 100% unique to its culture that Instagram stories just doesn’t have, in my humble opinion. That is real FOMO marketing or fear of missing out.
Yes, Instagram stories disappear after 24 hours but everything else about Instagram stays. The messages from other people stay in your direct message folder. The pictures you post on Instagram stay in your gallery. The massive amount of data you share with Instagram stays with their advertisers.
Snapchat’s entire platform is built around a disappearing message. It creates a fear that you will never get to see the message or story again. Creating lots of eyeballs on the stories, platform, and messages. Instagram just doesn’t illicit that sort of visceral response in the market.
A Head Start
Roughly 76% of all Snapchat users are in the millennial demographic. They have basically a monopoly on millennial attention. Instagram has to play catch up to Snapchat. Having the first-mover advantage has allowed Snapchat to establish itself in the market and build a loyal brand following. Snapchat is a household name and will continue to have this advantage.
Sometimes this alone can be the reason a company is successful. For example…
Coca-Cola was the first to the market and by the time Pepsi rolled around 13 years later, Coca-Cola was selling over a million gallons of product a year. Pepsi has been playing catch up for over 100 years.
Amazon and Ebay where the first ones to the market in their space and as such have changed the digital landscape. Creating entire business around buying and selling items on their platforms alone.
Instagram is coming at Snapchat strong but it is still playing catch up to Snapchat and will continue to do so.
In my opinion, these are the 7 Reasons Snapchat will slap Instagram stories right in the mouth.
I don’t believe Snapchat or Instagram will win by creating a new feature, it all comes down to how the market operates with the platform: the native culture and the core functionality of each.
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