How Instagram Stories Killed Snapchat (For Me)

Me in my usual position on my phone. Taken by khachik. In Lisbon.

Instagram will not kill Snapchat. Snapchat has not only grown a large, loyal user base, but has demonstrated the ability to adapt their product and build out their media capabilities with major partners. You can just check out their Discover tab to see some of their heavy hitter partnerships (e.g. ESPN, Buzzfeed, Vice, etc.). I have a lot of respect for what Snapchat has done, but unless they start putting compelling quality content I can’t find anywhere else, my personal attention is no longer there (my professional attention will continue to be there for as long as the platform is relevant).

Instagram Stories has only been around for a few days, but it’s already stolen the majority of my social media attention. I find myself looking at Snapchat mostly to look for changes in user behavior. Are the people I follow continuing to post as often? Are they using Instagram Stories too? Are they posting different content on each? It’s market research, not personal consumption.

I’m not in the teen or tween demo, but I would guess that this platform update isn’t the biggest deal for them. While the update might help make Instagram more interesting, Snapchat still has their attention. We’ll see how Instagram Stories evolves, but the disappearing messages side of Snapchat, as well as the fact that all of their friends are on the platform, makes me think that the younger demo will hang around.

For those of us in the “older” millennial camp, Snapchat was only starting to catch on. I can’t tell you how many conversations I’ve had over the last year with friends (outside of the marketing and social media world), who don’t know the first thing about Snapchat. I’ve had to explain Snapchat, its relevance, and custom geofilters to many friends in the 25 to 35 age range.

As that age range never adopted Snapchat, but almost all have Instagram, more people I know and have an interest in will be posting Stories. As a slightly older generation of users gets used to more raw and unpolished Snapchat style content, this could be a transition to Snapchat and not away from it. It’s Snapchat Lite, which may make people who weren’t interested before, more willing to try snapping.

Snapchat is not dead. It’s just dead for my personal use. Instagram has always been my platform of choice (I see you too, Twitter). I prefer the super perfection laced photos that Instagram provides me. Now when I’m in the mood to be more “real,” I can just create a Story. I’ll admit I’m not the biggest fan of the new algorithm, but I expect that to improve over time. At the end of the day, a little healthy competition should ultimately improve both platforms. I look forward to your next move, Snapchat.

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