14 Jun 2017

Goliath vs Goliath – The battle for sharing stories… around the campfire

Snapchat has been embroiled in a battle for nearly a year with Instagram, a battle for; money, power and market share, but, who has the edge?

Snapchat has the advantage of being preferred by a more youthful demographic with its most popular age group that of the 18-24 year olds and 60% of its users under 25.
Instagram, in contrast, reaches a slightly older demographic. Overall 90% of users are under 35. However, Instagram also does well with the 30-49 year olds—33 percent of internet users in this age group use Instagram.

The fight between the two hasn’t been completely by the books, as Instagram has been quite sneaky favouring a copycat approach – first by copying Snapchat stories and then by incorporating filters to their app, both with huge success!

Instagram has doubled its user base, to 700 million monthly actives in two years, with its growth showing no sign of slowing up.
This has been fuelled by some of its copycat tactics such as Stories – which now boasts 200 million daily users, far surpassing the roughly 150 million daily users Snapchat has for its entire app.

Its moves like this have got Snapchat on the ropes, but, Snapchat has unleashed a few counters, as they look to take a two-pronged approach targeting both Investors and potential users.

A few months ago, Snapchat released it’s ‘Snap to Store’ feature to appease investors, the feature allows advertisers to better track the traffic on their campaigns. And last month they launched Ad Manager, so advertisers can manage all key assists on the tool.

Snapchat does have one key edge, in recent month Snapchat has been targeting more and more partnerships with the latest addition BT Sport. This adds to its already impressive list of media partners such as Vice, Daily Mail, Sky Sports, MTV etc giving Snapchat users an up to the minute news feed.
So depending on the contracts, Snapchat has with its partners, it could be very difficult for Instagram to mimic this, also would Instagram want to?
No only would Instagrams have to update the user interface but, developing media partners may be too far removed from it’s UGC purpose, would they risk losing users?

To boost user activity, last week Snapchat launched its Spectacles (handsfree recording) to markets this side of the pond – the spectacles have been around in the States since Sept 2016 and have already sold about 90,000 pairs. With any new gadget or toy there is always intrigue from both users and advertisers as both want to say they did it first to be seen as forward thinking, but how will they fair over here, will they bring Snapchat back to the forefront or is it just a short-term gimmick to help lessen the blow as Snapchat continues to lose market share?

In the UK 18-24-year-old account for nearly half of their users, so the success hinges on this group and whether or not; the £130 price tag puts off potential buyers, and if the styling alienates male buyers – the frame has almost a 1950s style.

I mean this is all of course until Instagram release the IG Glass or something of a similar nature.

Even with this, it’s Instagram’s photo functionality that is a key differentiator, it allows the user to have a continued presence for both businesses and influencers, and then they can use the story feature to augments their content.

Influencer agency MediaKix, tracked Snapchat’s top 12 influencers (who have a combined following of over 100m) for 30 days to see how often they posted on Instagram Stories. The top Snapchat influencers actually posted 25% more on Instagram Stories than on Snapchat!

So why is Ssnapchat facing an exodus?

There are a number of factors that may be contributing to influencers’ shift to Instagram. Instagram offers a wider variety of features and a larger audience for influencers to engage with. Furthermore, Instagram has a better user interface with a better search functionality, it also allows creation of a bio and the opportunity to include externals URLs

To quote the saying of the American media, if feels as if Snapchat are ‘Reeling’.

It strikes me that one of the key differences is that the younger generation use Snapchat instead of texting, sending instant messages that delete themselves on Snapchat instead, is this just a fad that will soon die out seeing them all return to the normal method of texting. Older generations are more interested in creating and watching stories.The nature of Instagram is influencers and the general public alike have a far larger pre-existing following. Because of this, we are seeing a shift in people preferring to do stories on Instagram because they can reach far more people.

So, is Snapchat fighting a losing battle, will they be heading the same way vine did, what do you think?