Why Instagram Stories isn’t the Snapchat Killer

Recently Instagram rolled out their stories feature. It is a complete rip off of Snapchat, and the CEO even admitted to that. It was an interesting direction for Instagram to go, but not unexpected since they haven’t been able to knock Snapchat off it’s podium for some time. I think ever since Snapchat refused a Facebook buyout, Facebook has been waiting for a time to strike.

Now if you just google Instagram Stories at the moment, you will get an overwhelming number of news stories about whether or not it is indeed the Snapchat killer. I took a poll in one of my Social Media Manager groups about what people would use more for their businesses. I’ll let you take a guess at what the majority voted.

Drum roll please….. Instagram Stories.

To me this makes sense, most of the people voting are 30+ years old and Instagram is easy to use while Snapchat can be confusing. You can’t easily manage someone’s Snapchat, but you can easily manage their Instagram. On the other hand you have everyone who is in the younger generation posting “Follow me on Snapchat” on their Instagram Story.

I have also seen a lot of people saying that Snapchat is killing itself by not having a discovery option, for having disappearing messages and for not being incredibly intuitive. No discovery, disappearing messages and their UI is what made Snapchat, Snapchat. I think the bigger issue is that people older than a certain age just don’t really understand how Snapchat works. Hell, the way I use Snapchat is way different than anyone younger than 16.

Let me take you back to a time when Facebook just started and it was limited to only college kids. It was the cool platform, that you didn’t want your parents on. Then your parents did get their Facebook, so everyone started using Instagram more. Then everyone was on Instagram so people moved to Snapchat. Snapchat is still the platform that you don’t want your parents to be on and should remain like that. That is the beauty of the platform.

This isn’t the main reason that Instagram Stories aren’t the Snapchat killer. The main reason is Snapchat isn’t a social media network like all the other ones, it is more of a messaging platform then a social media platform. If you look at anyone from the younger generation, they are constantly sending messages on Snapchat. They aren’t constantly adding to their story. They are using it to share moments of their life to their friends. It is this single difference that I think Instagram Stories won’t kill Snapchat. I have yet to have anyone send me a Story of their terrible bedhead, or how many shots they just took and I doubt I will ever get those. I do continue to get those on Snapchat though. (If Facebook was really going to make this work, I think they should have rolled out some kind of update to their Messenger App, making it camera first.)