May 22 A Review of Snapchat, Instagram & Facebook Stories
Taking a look at key features of the major social channels, you will see many of them overlap. Successful features on one platform tend to be adopted by others. This is especially true of Facebook. Since they got turned down to buy Snapchat, Facebook and/or Instagram has launched features to try to steal people away from the ephemeral platform. The most notable feature that used to be owned by Snapchat but is now available on all three platforms is Stories.
Snapchat was the original creator of ‘Stories’. Stories have been a core piece of the Snapchat platform since it came on the scene in October of 2013. For many years, Snapchat did not have any competition; however, once competition arrived, Snapchat saw their numbers suffer. According to Tech Crunch, you can see in the chart below that Snapchat growth slowed 82% after Instagram Stories launched. This shocking number didn’t stop Snapchat from going public. The platform continues to add new features, like looping videos, a magic eraser and A/R emojis, to try to keep the audience engaged. From my personal experience, it seems like there aren’t as many people on the platform as there used to be.
Instagram (Facebook owned) was the first platform to adopt Stories in August of 2016. Instagram Stories are nearly identical to Snapchat Stories. Users adopted Instagram stories fairly quickly. According to Instagram, it passed daily active Snapchat Story users 8 months after launch. As of April, Instagram Stories reported that they have 200 million active daily users. I can tell that more and more people are using Instagram Stories in the way that they were previously sharing content on Snapchat. At this point, Instagram Stories has almost all of the same features Snapchat has. Just this week, Instagram added ‘Face Filters’, interactive stickers and an eraser brush. Mark Zuckerberg actually shared the news via Facebook Live.
In March of 2017, Facebook decided it wanted to get in to the Story game. Not only did Facebook give it prime real estate in their main app, it also added the feature to Messenger and WhatsApp. Through the new camera on Facebook, users can apply a variety of effects and filters to their stories…sound familiar? So far, Facebook Stories hasn’t seen the quick adoption they had hoped for. While there haven’t been official stats released, I can tell from my personal account that very few, if any, people are using Stories. To encourage usage, Facebook has started showing your friends grayed out at the top of the feed saying that the person “hasn’t added to their Story recently”. Time will tell if adoption for Facebook Stories picks up.