Is Instagram Trying to BE Snapchat, or BEAT Snapchat?

Since Instagram unveiled their ‘new’ feature, Stories, there has been heavy criticism of the popular social network.IGVSSC

The ‘Stories’ feature within Instagram, is similar, if not identical, to what Snapchat currently allows users to do – where users can post photos or videos for them to disappear after a day or two.

When unveiling ‘Stories’ in a blog post, Instagram said;

Today, we’re introducing Instagram Stories, a new feature that lets you share all the moments of your day, not just the ones you want to keep on your profile. As you share multiple photos and videos, they appear together in a slideshow format: your story.

With Instagram Stories, you don’t have to worry about overposting. Instead, you can share as much as you want throughout the day — with as much creativity as you want. You can bring your story to life in new ways with text and drawing tools. The photos and videos will disappear after 24 hours and won’t appear on your profile grid or in feed.

As we mentioned before, the new feature is essentially the same thing Snapchat allows users to do. What’s more, is that Instagram also adds options for adding text and drawing on photos or videos, something which Snapchat also features within their app.

Now, Instagram have introduced another ‘new’ feature… ‘Event Channels‘.

When revealing the feature on their blog, Instagram said;

Starting today, you can experience events as they happen around the world with a new video channel on Explore.

This channel collects the best videos from concerts, sporting events and more so you can feel like you’re in the front row. Like the rest of Explore, this new channel is personalized for you and highlights events you might like.

This addition to Instagram seems incredibly similar to Snapchat’s ‘Live’ section, where users can see coverage of popular events, concerts and other interesting videos without having to leave the app.

The question…

These two Snapchat-esque additions to Instagram beg the question, does Instagram want to be Snapchat or beat Snapchat?

It’s well-known that Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook, purchased Instagram back in 2012 for $1 billion. However, some time after this, he also made an offer to buy Snapchat from Evan Spiegel, the app’s founder. This made waves in the news as the $3 billion acquisition offer was remarkably turned down by Spiegel.

Many people have the theory that Zuckerberg is copying these features to essentially create his own Snapchat, seeing as he couldn’t buy the actual company. Others suggest the goal here is to actually beat Snapchat.

It was recently announced that Instagram reached 300 million daily users, compared to 150 million users who use Snapchat daily. This means that there’s a huge 150 million people who use Instagram but not Snapchat; but if Instagram has the features of Snapchat, will they ever really need to use Snapchat?

It’s undeniable that Snapchat has grown exponentially in terms of its user base, and it shows no sign of slowing down after just recently passing Twitter in daily usage. But whether it will be able to compete with or potentially surpass Instagram is certainly the debate at the moment.

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