From a brand point of view, Snapchat is basically neutralizing social proof and the need for having large follower numbers and lots of heralded ‘engagement’. On Snapchat you can’t see how many followers a brand account has, or how many of them engage with the content. In theory, this is great for brands as they don’t have to focus on building followers and encouraging fluffy interactions such as Likes to legitimize their content.
With organic reach being so low on Facebook for example, it doesn’t really matter how many followers you have these days anyway, you still have to pay to reach them. On Snapchat, brands are freed from the pissing contest of building follower numbers. With a push for scalable advertising on the platform underway, this should play to Snapchat’s advantage. Hopefully this approach might cause brands to focus more on how well the content itself is meeting it’s business objectives rather than other vanity metrics.
Instagram have just launched a new feature called ‘stories’ in a pretty brazen move trying to emulate one of Snapchat’s main functions. So, while Snapchat has recently added features that make it more like Instagram (i.e. Snapchat ‘Memories’), Instagram have done the opposite and added a feature that makes it more like Snapchat.
All of this echoes some of the developments that other tech and digital media companies have made over that last couple of years that move away from what made them unique in the first place. Today, everyone seems to be scrambling around video, live streaming and ‘stories’. The boundaries of these platforms are continuing to blur.
At the end of the day, whoever can leverage the most revenue from their users wins. Any platform can add any new feature that they want. Whether they were the ones to take it to market first or not doesn’t really matter. It’s a dog-eat-dog world out there.
FYI, while Snapchat is growing at a tremendous rate, Instagram still has DOUBLE the amount of daily active users (300m vs. 150m respectively).
Introducing Instagram Stories from Instagram on Vimeo.