When Snapchat brought out its story feature in 2013 it was revolutionary and the company looked set to rule the social media world. Being able to watch videos and images that your friends had uploaded to their story for 24 hours was a genius idea.
FOMO was reduced on Friday and Saturday nights by just opening the app and watching the ridiculously long stories from the night before. Selfie Kings and Queens were born, with people posting countless pictures of themselves on a daily basis. Videos of gigs and festivals were also popular, as well as cute stories of babies and pets ever-present on snapchat story feeds.
It would be fair to say that Snapchat stories were an instant hit amongst users, including myself.
Such was the popularity of Snapchat’s story feature the company’s stocks and popularity rose, with Facebook trying (but failing) to take over the business. Forward flash a few years and Facebook-owned Instagram has now surpassed Snapchat’s daily usage and it all comes a year after Instagram released its own story feature, which essentially copies that of Snapchat’s.
Instagram stories have overtaken those of Snapchat’s, with the latter having less snaps being opened and Snapchat influencers even posting more stories on Instagram due to the app being the easier of the two to connect with large audiences.
I have to be honest and admit that I am also someone who jumped ship to Instagram stories and it’s simply because the number of cool features available on an Instagram story are greater than on a Snapchat story. From adding your location, notifying your followers where you are in the world or what event you are attending, to hash tagging something or mentioning someone on the story, to the popular boomerang feature where users can turn burst of photos into an interactive gif like video.
On top of all that, Instagram stories mean you can automatically interact with users that you follow and those who follow you, saving people the hassle of swapping Snapchat usernames to connect.
In essence, Instagram has effectively taken what Snapchat created, improved it and made it more sophisticated. Snapchat seems to have rested on its laurels with dog face filters and face swaps that, while initially were hilarious, have lost their novelty but kept the creepiness.
That being said, people’s relationships with Snapchat haven’t completely died, with reports stating that users with a Snap account often stay active on the app. I’m still a great fan of the sticker feature, which allows you to create your own stickers by cropping around an existing photo and placing it on top of another. Taking a less than flattering photo of my friend’s face and imposing it onto my dog’s body still brings me great pleasure. But as for uploading and watching stories, for me and many others it is Instagram all the way.
These are worrying times for Snapchat, with shares constantly seesawing alongside the decreasing number of new users signing up to the app. Let’s hope they manage to turn things around (whilst keeping the sticker feature!).