Have you also noticed the ridiculous amount of times you have had to update Instagram this month?
That is because Instagram has been adding features left and right. You now have the ability to archive old photos, add filters to your Instagram stories, and even add hashtags and locations to your stories.
The most recent of these features, filters, is just the latest example of Instagram taking away a core feature of one of its biggest competitors for users’ attention, Snapchat. You add this to the long string of new “Snapchat like” features that Instagram has added lately and you come to the conclusion that Instagram is directly going after Snapchat and their audience.
And the social media marketing community is latching on. I have heard countless marketers talk about how this is the “end of Snapchat” and that “Snapchat is done”.
Pump the brakes.
I personally have a different opinion. Despite taking many of their features, no matter how hard they try, Instagram will never take out Snapchat.
Here’s Why Instagram Will Never Be Snapchat
1. They serve totally different purposes
A good comparison to this whole situation is looking at the relationship between Subway and McDonalds. While they are both fast food, they also have different menus, different experiences, and serve different purposes to their customers. Snapchat and Instagram are the same in that sense. They both are social networks, but they serve totally different purposes to their users. Snapchat will always be a messaging app at its core, and Instagram is about visualizing time, place, and events. Even adding new features, Instagram will never be able to act as a communication app the way Snapchat has positioned itself to be to its users.
2. The right people are using Snapchat
And they are using it A LOT. 72% of 12-24 year olds have adopted Snapchat. Not only that, but 87% of those users log in at least multiple times per week. I am sorry, but that type of following and usage does not just go away overnight. It is not like the 400 million photos that are sent using Snapchat daily are just going to vanish.
3. A Personal Example to wrap this up
My wife has a 17-year-old sister. The other day, we were over at their parent’s house and I was watching her sister interact with her phone. After some time, I made a joke about how she should stop texting her friends. She looks at me and says “Text? I don’t text people anymore. I just use Snapchat.”
The point of that story is this: among the next generation of consumers, Snapchat, in a short period of time, has embedded itself into their culture and everyday lives.
That is not to say Instagram is not important to the kids as well (wow I just made myself feel old right there) because it definitely is, but it is a far reach to say just because Instagram added a few new things, Snapchat is going to die.
Instagram can add features that copy, imitate, or attempt to replicate Snapchat’s success until they are blue in the face, but they will never be able to take over what Snapchat has already been able to establish to a market that, in a few short years, will spend more money than any previous generation.