Instagram vs Snapchat. The Battle Continues In 2017
Back in August, we invited Denis Brzozowski, Creative Director at Portsmouth-based agency Wolfden Creative, to contribute a guest blog on the emerging importance of Snapchat for B2C Marketing.
Now, Denis is back, with a fantastic article about the intriguing battle between for superiority between Instagram vs Snapchat and what 2017 has in store for both platforms. Denis also has some more fascinating articles on similar topics which can be found on his personal blog.
Snapchat has had an interesting year. Evan Spiegel and co. have been battling a war with the ‘Zuck Almighty’, ever since Facebook’s $3 billion bid to buy out Snapchat has been rejected back in 2013. As you can determine from one of my recent posts about this “If you can’t buy them, beat them” it’s been a head-to-head battle.
I’ve had a big understanding of Snapchat in the social sense ever since it was getting big in 2012. At the beginning of 2016 however, I took the leap and started using Snapchat for business purposes and personal branding. This was one of the biggest disbelief’s or ‘internet fads’ to a big population of professionals, as unfortunately, even 5 years after launch and progress, it was still seen to people as a platform for teenage ‘sexting’. Understandably, this takes the attention of professionals and the business-minded as far away from the platform as possible.
There were, however, many early adopters to the concept, which I was a part of. Many professionals started using it as a personal interaction with their clients and potential customers, all B2B and B2C communication started to feel like C2C, as there was a warm and personal feeling to the interaction between two human beings on Snapchat, as opposed to a customer, and a customer services account.
I gained a lot of valuable connections through this, and I think a lot of professionals and especially brands are going to understand this in 2017, and here’s why:
Many brands and professionals are encouraged to utilise Snapchat as a personalised method of communication with the desired audience yet, a lot don’t believe it holds any value, and don’t want to try because, as we have established, “Snapchat is for sexting.” I can somewhat understand the opinion of judging a 3-year-old platform for what it’s gotten the reputation for, without taking a closer look.
The fact that Facebook, a very viable and powerful source, has released the exact same principle under their wings (Instagram Stories), puts a lot of dis-believed brands in an awkward situation of “hmm, maybe we should try it.” My point is, Snapchat was perceived as a soon-to-be-dead concept, aimed at 12-year old’s, but as soon as a reliable powerhouse like Facebook came out with a near-clone solution, suddenly the concept was proven. All it takes is the coolest kid in school to wear a lame t-shirt, and suddenly it’s the best t-shirt anyone’s every seen, and everybody wants it.
- As mentioned in a recent post “If you can’t buy them, beat them” I think Snapchat are going to go much more out of their way to show that they are in fact liking it in the 12–20 demo. I would not at all be surprised if, after the successful release of Spectacles, Snapchat start going all in on the brand that they’ve developed. Expect to see some official Snapchat merch, gimmicks and gadgets, to grab even more attention of that young millennial demographic.
- This is more of a hope than a prediction, but I still think Snapchat have to take it into play at some stage. A discovery feature. A proper discovery feature. At the moment, you can add new friends either by their Snapcode, username, if they’re near by, or by phone number in your address book. The main reason an Instagram Stories engagement can blow up is because the discovery feature is run through the main Facebook & Instagram algorithm that we all know works. Snapchat however, needs to up their game in this section. This is, in fact, one of the main reasons I am more fond of Instant Stories right now than Snap. Give us an appropriate discovery feature, to scale the community we sit in.
- Lastly, I do think Snapchat are in for a re-design of their app. It needs to be a lot smoother in my opinion, and I think Snap know that. The Media Discover section is an absolute mess and maze, as well as the way you go from start to finish with those.
Where do I start? Instagram has gone off to a flying start with the release of Stories earlier this year. Now that the ‘Instagram copied Snapchat’ hype is over, we can start looking forward to what this change will mean in 2017.
I think there is a clear difference in style and the road that both Snapchat and Instagram are going down, which is very clear. As mentioned earlier, Snapchat will be aiming for that very young demo they have conquered for so long, whereas Instagram will be trying to reach higher goals in my opinion.
As already mentioned, Instagram will be trying to separate itself away from Snapchat and its goals. Although it may look like an absolute clone batter right now, I think Zuck has much bigger plans for Instagram than people realise, now that it is so fresh and new. Expect to see many new features, some will be along the lines of Snapchat, and things that Snapchat has already done, and been past.
- Integration with Facebook. This I think is a must. As good a feature as Facebook Live is, and as good a Beta feature Instagram Live is, I think they should have integration between the two. Similarly to Twitter, where you can stream straight to Periscope from the Twitter app, I think this would be very beneficial to Facebook and Instagram. Of course, the Live feature has to come out of beta first, and be available to everyone and not just verified accounts. I think integrating Instagram Live to be available to view on a Facebook timeline (and vice versa) would be the ideal solution and something that will happen sooner or later.
- The third point is a very big umbrella statement, as Facebook have been known to be very unpredictable. I do however think Instagram will be moving away from the concept it originally was, which was an app for photography and photographers. Over the years it has clearly transformed into a full communication and social media platform. I think that 2017 will bring even more features and concepts in favour of the community, as opposed to the images.
There you have it, my humble opinions on these two platforms are very exciting for me to see how they pan out, I do however think the head-to-head between Snapchat and Instagram isn’t as clone-like as people seem to think.
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