Will Facebook Stories Kill Snapchat?
Will Facebook Stories kill Snapchat? That is our question for the day as we found out that Instagram Stories are coming to Facebook mobile. It was bound to happen eventually; two social media platforms meet in a dark alley and only one leaves. As a mobile app developer, we have been monitoring this possibility since August when Instagram dropped its latest version of Stories, basically firing a shot directly at Snapchat.
Now it looks like Facebook is taking things to the woodshed and it seems very unlikely that Snapchat will survive the encounter.
Facebook Stories on Mobile Browsers
Currently Facebook is testing the idea of what is essentially Instagram Stories on its larger network with mobile browsers in Ireland. Assuming testing goes well then Facebook is expected to roll this feature out to other countries in the next few months.
Just like Instagram and Snapchat, the Stories are built on by users and have a 24 hour shelf life. They don’t show up on your timeline or in news feeds, but instead need to be engaged via direct message.
The move makes sense as Facebook needs to make the most of their $1 billion dollar purchase of Instagram and including one of the more popular features will help them keep a stranglehold on their app market as well as likely put another nail in the coffin for Snapchat. Facebook and Facebook Messenger were number 1 and 2 for the highest number of unique app users for 2016.
Surviving for Now
While Snapchat did survive Q4 in 2016, there were already a lot of concerns that Instagram would slowly strangle the life out of the upstart social network. For starters Instagram has five times as many users which is a large numbers advantage. When Instagram Stories debuted they essentially took one of the best features Snapchat had and placed in on a larger network with more reach which helped to protect their existing users from leaving.
The primary reason people used Snapchat was to capture moments in a way other platforms can’t. Now not only does Instagram do that, but soon enough Facebook will as well. Plus the interface they both use is a bit superior to Snapchat’s.
One reason that Facebook acquired Instagram was because at the time the younger, cooler kids were using it as an alternative to Facebook, which was becoming more mainstream and less cool. The situation has basically repeated itself as Snapchat was the cooler alternative to Instagram, but rather than buy it for an overinflated price (although they tried) they will instead lessen the desire to use that network because of the additional features that can be found on Facebook, including the new live feature.
The bottom line is that Facebook Stories will kill Snapchat, although it will probably manage to hang on for a while as the kinks get worked out during release. However this certainly is something to be aware of from a marketing perspective as online marketing will change because of this. For those who currently use Snapchat for marketing, it might be a good time to start working on a fallback plan.
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