Are Facebook and Instagram Trying to Kill Snapchat?
Snapchat is now under attack from yet another app with the launch of Facebook Stories. This is just the latest in a string of copies of the Snapchat concept. The new release allows users to post a sequence of photos or videos that will last for 24 hours. In addition to this new version, users already have the choice of Instagram Stories, WhatsApp Status, and Messenger Day (for the Facebook Messenger app) as well as the original Snapchat Stories.
What Does This Mean for Snapchat?
Unlike Facebook, or even Instagram and WhatsApp, Snapchat serves a single purpose. Competitors offering the same feature is bad news for Snapchat for several reasons.
Facebook and Instagram have more users
It may seem pointless for Facebook to release yet another version of Stories (after all, Facebook owns Messenger, Instagram, and WhatsApp). However, you need to remember that Facebook has by far the greatest number of users of any social media platform — more than 1.7 billion mobile visitors per month.
Instagram, targeting a slightly different user base, also has far more users than Snapchat. It has 600 million active users per month, which is twice as many as Snapchat’s 300 million.
Plus, it is easier to encourage users to start using a new feature on a platform where they are already active. Snapchat has always struggled to grow its user base beyond 18- to 24-year-olds. In contrast, Instagram and, to an even greater extent, Facebook cover a much wider age group.
People use social media to follow the rich and famous as well as their friends. Facebook and Instagram have a huge number of celebrity users, meaning their versions of Stories offer new ways for followers to engage with the stars.
Snapchat has few features
Users on Snapchat have the choice to post a photo or video that will last a few seconds or 24 hours. On Facebook, however, users can consume different types of content, follow pages, find events, and much more. Even Instagram has more capabilities than Snapchat, as it allows users to upload both permanent pictures and add photos to their Stories.
Facebook offers better filters
A major selling point of Snapchat has been its filters — until now. Facebook Stories introduces new filters that range from realistic to artistic. Included in the mix are humorous ideas and filters that make users look like their favorite movie characters.
Snapchat has a complicated interface
Snapchat is constantly under fire for the complexity of its interface. Although it is possible to master the system (as many teenage users will attest to), Facebook and Instagram inarguably have far better usability.
All the above does suggest that Facebook and Instagram may be trying to kill Snapchat. The popularity of other social media platforms is a threat to Facebook, especially when such apps are able to attract younger users, meaning Facebook has ample motivation to destroy Snapchat. The question now is will Snapchat survive this attack or will it meet the same fate as so many failed social media platforms that came before it.