On Snapchat vs. Stories and the Thin Line Between Convenience and Brand Loyalty

 

Last week, I read an interview in the Wall Street Journal with Instagram CEO and founder Kevin Systrom.

The interview was about copying accusations, following the launch of Instagram’s ‘Stories’.

Systrom argued that, while Instagram’s Stories is very similar to Snapchat’s stories, it is not a copy.

Sure.

Systrom gave the example of two different types of cars, who, just because they have wheels and windows and AC, aren’t necessarily copies of each other.

Sure.

The reality is that everybody who has ever used Snapchat or Instagram Stories will agree that Instagram Stories is pretty much an exact copy.

But I don’t want to talk about copycats. I want to talk about something far more interesting: brand loyalty.

Since Instagram Stories launched in August of 2016, their amount of users has skyrocketed up to 200 million users in April of 2017.

Meanwhile, Snapchat has reported their slowest growth quarter since 2014; about a fifth of the growth it had just two quarters before.

Snapchat stars have already seen their views dropping 15 to 30 percent (Techcrunch actually shared these numbers in an article comically called ‘Attack of the Clone’).

So far it’s not that surprising, yet. After all, Instagram already had a huge existing user base.

The question is why this is happening. And I believe it’s about pure convenience.

I read an article on Medium, which had about 1800 shares and was titled ‘Why I’m Leaving Snapchat and So Are All Your Friends’. To quote a line from that article: “[with Instagram Stories], I can get everything in one place.”

“Everything in one place.”

After all, you don’t want to put time into two apps that do the exact same thing. So we’re quick to choose convenience over brand loyalty.

But, while ‘all your friends are leaving Snapchat’, let me tell you why Snapchat is still more interesting for advertisers than Instagram Stories (for now).

Its advertising is more authentic.

With Instagram (Stories) the ads are nothing but an interruption of the content I really want to see: that of my friends.

The advertiser will rank up impressions, but with content that’s often not being enjoyed, but rather ignored.

With Snapchat’s branded filters, they give the content I really want to see (from my friends) a ‘branded twist’.

I know, it’s not an argument for users to stay on Snapchat. But at least it’s a big argument for brands.

 

 

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