Home Culture Instagram Is Officially Winning Its War Against Snapchat

Instagram Is Officially Winning Its War Against Snapchat

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Photo by Flickr user Juan Jiménez Martínez

Instagram Stories may be an obvious Snapchat clone, but it appears that doesn’t matter in users’ eyes. That’s because Instagram Stories has overtaken Snapchat in daily users.

Facebook, Instagram’s parent company, announced 200 million people use Instagram Stories daily, which is up from the 150 million daily users Facebook reported back in January. To put that in comparison, Snapchat last reported 160 million non-daily users back in the fourth quarter of 2016.

Calling Instagram Stories a clone of Snapchat, perhaps doesn’t go far enough. They are outright copying Snapchat’s best features with zero repercussion. Instead, as seen by the numbers, users are embracing IG Stories more. This week Instagram Stories announced an update to include selfie stickers and AR stickers—in other words, stickers that move around in your video as you move. These features originated on Snapchat and aren’t even a year old, and now Instagram Stories has them, too.

In addition, Instagram has been slowly rolling out specialized geostickers in select cities. Just last month they featured them in New York City and Jakarta, Indonesia. They’ve also been adding custom geostickers generated by users in Chicago, Madrid, Tokyo, and London.

Now is it surprising that Instagram has overtaken Snapchat? Not really. Here’s what I wrote last year as Instagram Stories was just gaining popularity:

Users prefer their social media integrated and consolidated. Think how Facebook subsumed Periscope by adding Facebook Live. Media companies and celebrities using it was expected, but normal people, those whose only social media service is Facebook, were using it, too. A similar pattern could repeat with Instagram and its Stories, but on a smaller scale.

That could explain Instagram Stories’ large growth. It’s not another app they need to download, it’s just another feature for an app they already have. It is startling, however, the rate at which Instagram Stories has swallowed Snapchat’s popularity.

A statistic worth noting: Teens still prefer Snapchat. In the semiannual Piper Jaffray “Taking Stock With Teens” survey, 39 percent believe Snapchat is the most important social network. Meanwhile, 23 percent choose Instagram over other social media, like Twitter and Facebook, which is preferred by just 11 percent of teens.

Instagram is winning the war with its large-scale popularity and growth. But Snapchat remains more innovative and covets the younger generation. This thing isn’t over it.


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