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Instagram Ripped-Off Snapchat – But it’s Okay!

Instagram is getting a lot of not so positive feedback after their latest update. They are being accused of ripping off Snapchat with a “Stories” feature of their own.

In 2013 Snapchat introduced Stories, which lets you group snaps into one smartly edited (ok maybe not too smart) narrative that then disappears after just 24 hours.  This past Tuesday, Instagram joined Facebook’s long history of trying to copy features from the younger hipper Snapchat.  They introduced their own “Stories.” Instagram’s “Stories” let you …. You guessed it, ‘group snaps into one smartly edited narrative that then disappears after just 24 hours.

Stories are meant to allow you to document your life, business, or product without being overly filtered by Instagram, since the stories disappear in such a short time.  This would be a revolutionary addition to the popular social networking platform, however it’s literally identical to Snapchat Stories, all the way down to the design of the app itself.

Ordinarily, we as consumers would probably be a bit perturbed at the total knock off. But after using both, I and many others agree that it’s actually a much better experience from a user interface point of view  (even those they are almost a carbon copy of each other).

Here are a few ways that they differ:


1. The ability to tell when one user’s Stories end and another’s begins.  – As you are cycling through the stories on Snapchat, it’s so very easy to confuse one user’s snaps with another.  Instagram fixes that by adding a progress bar that runs directly across the top of the screen. It not only shows you how many posts the user’s story might contain, but how close you are to being at the end.  

Instagram also gives you the ability to swipe backwards to replay a user’s story, something that is much harder to accomplish via Snapchat.



2. Instagram great for content consumption. – When you first launch Snapchat it defaults to the camera screen, making it easy for people to create content.  Instagram on the other hand flips that equation, landing you right in your feed when you launch the app, not your camera screen.  

This should make Instagram’s Stories a hot spot for marketers, since the majority of Instagram users are there for the content, not necessarily to create it.


3. Tracking, no longer a nightmare with Instagram –  Snapchat gives users statistics on how many users have viewed their Stories, however they don’t make it easy on us to find out exactly who viewed them. For that you need to tap on the individual Stories and then swipe up to check it. Oh and then swipe down to exit.  Ugh .. that’s a whole lot of swiping to get a few numbers.

Instagram, however sends you off to another page once it gets wind that you are at all interested in your Stories numbers. They pretty much hand you the number of views and who viewed them all in one tidy corner.

With all of Snapchat’s flaws, it does have some pretty good redeeming qualities. One of the more evident ones is that it laid the foundation for a brand new kind of user behavior.  It didn’t invent snaps, but it did teach everyone ‘how’ to snap. Now that the behavior is known, other platforms such as Instagram won’t have to traipse through muddy waters to get to the clear sea of user who already know how to use their product.

What are your thoughts on the brazen copy of Snapchat? How will you be incorporating their new Stories feature into your marketing strategy?

Please let us know in the comments below.

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